Towards Sustainable Healthcare: India’s Model of Affordable Medicine and Sanitary Pads

During the Jan Aushdhi Diwas 2023 event held in Dwarka, Delhi on Tuesday, Bhupender Yadav, the Indian Union Minister for Employment and Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, announced that over 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been established across the nation under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

These centers provide affordable medications to the public, easing the burden of expensive medicines.

Additionally, the government is ensuring the availability of low-cost sanitary pads at these centers, prioritizing the convenience of women.

Yadav further added that the Modi administration is striving to increase the number of Jan Aushadhi Kendras to 10,000 by the year-end.

From the above, there are several ideas that one can borrow:

1. Establishing affordable health care centers: One of the most significant takeaways from the response is the establishment of affordable health care centers. These centers, known as Jan Aushadhi Kendras, provide low-cost medicines to the public, making health care accessible to all. This initiative is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

For instance, other countries can consider replicating the Indian model of establishing such centers to improve access to healthcare. Bangladesh has already started adopting this model by opening more than 2500 community clinics across the country, offering free primary healthcare services to the rural population.

2. Ensuring the availability of sanitary pads at affordable rates: Another takeaway from the response is the government’s initiative to ensure the availability of sanitary pads at affordable rates. This initiative is vital to address the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls, particularly those from low-income households. Providing affordable menstrual hygiene products can help reduce the gender gap and ensure that women and girls can lead healthy and productive lives.

Other countries can consider adopting similar initiatives to address the menstrual hygiene needs of women and girls. For example, Kenya has implemented a tax exemption on sanitary pads to make them more affordable for women and girls.

Overall, borrowing these ideas can help other countries to improve access to healthcare and promote gender equity, which are crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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