Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Government's Initiatives in the 2024 Interim Budget

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Government’s Initiatives in the 2024 Interim Budget: Govt to Focus on Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer Vaccination Focus:

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the Interim Budget for 2024 on February 01, 2023. The budget underscores a significant emphasis on cervical cancer vaccination for girls aged 9 to 14. 
  • The aforementioned initiative comes at a crucial time and addresses a pressing issue i.e. cervical cancer, which ranks as the second-most common cancer among women in India.

National Response to HPV:

  • With India contributing nearly a quarter of global cervical cancer deaths, the government’s commitment aligns directly with the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization’s recommendation for HPV vaccine introduction in universal immunisation. This includes a one-time catch-up for 9-14 year-old adolescent girls.
  • In response to the alarming prevalence of cervical cancer and the persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection as its primary cause, NTAGI has recommended the introduction of the HPV vaccine as part of universal immunisation efforts.

Health Infrastructure Expansion: 

  • In a bid to bolster healthcare,Sitharaman has now announced plans to establish a larger number of medical colleges. She plans to accomplish the latter by leveraging the existing hospital infrastructure. 
  • A dedicated committee will be formed to provide recommendations for this expansion, aiming to strengthen the overall healthcare ecosystem.

Comprehensive Maternal and Child Healthcare:

  • The Interim Budget consolidates various schemes under a single, comprehensive maternal and child healthcare program. This program is primarily aimed at upgrading Anganwadi centres, ensuring expedited nutrition delivery, and implementing enhanced measures for early childhood care.

U-WIN Platform for Immunization Management:

  • Finance Minister Sitharaman highlighted the upcoming rollout of the U-WIN platform, designed for efficient management of immunizations across the country. 
  • The U-WIN platform initiative sheds light on the government’s commitment to proactive and streamlined healthcare management.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s unveiling of the 2024 Interim Budget highlights a pivotal moment in addressing women’s health and bolstering overall healthcare in India. The increased focus on cervical cancer vaccination for girls  shows a conspicuous commitment to combat the prevalence of cervical cancer. Such initiatives collectively mark a substantial stride towards a healthier, more resilient India.

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