Ghulam Nabi Azad
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing at the inauguration of the 4th Regional Meeting of South Asian Forum of Health Research, in New Delhi on February 05, 2012.PIB

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has urged the South Asian Forum for Health Research (SAFHeR) to explore ways for strengthening collaboration by sharing innovative methods for tackling the problems faced by countries in the region.

"Be it poverty, be it disease, be it natural disaster, the destiny of South Asia is interlinked and we must, therefore, work together to deal with these challenges," said the Minister, during the inaugural function of the three-day long  SAFHeR conference in New Delhi, on Sunday.

He also said India would do everything to facilitate regional cooperation among the member countries for addressing common health problems towards sustainable solutions. He added that he hoped the deliberations would help arrive at concrete plans to initiate actual projects in selected areas in terms of exchange of personnel, trainings or multi-lateral research projects.

The regional meeting will hope to cover a wide range of subject areas like vector-borne diseases, cholera, drug resistance, influenza, health problems due to heavy content of arsenic and fluorides, malnutrition and high maternal and child morbidity and mortality, diabetes, cancer and for finding the determinants that may be common and affordable solutions.

Delegates and officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand, representing their health and medical research councils, are in attendance at the conference hosted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).