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New Delhi : Delhi Medical Association (DMA) on March 7, 2021, honoured Union Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan for his contribution to the medical fraternity and outstanding service and exemplary work during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

On the occasion of DMA’s 62nd Annual Delhi State Medical Conference (MEDICON 2021) in collaboration with Dharamshila Narayana Hospital at Hotel The Lalit, New Delhi, Dr Harsh Vardhan was hailed as a beacon of hope for over a billion people during the world’s biggest health crisis in recent memory. The Union Health Minister, who not only engineered polio eradication in India, has also handled severval outbreaks in the past, such as Dengue, Ebola and Plague.

Dr Vardhan said, “It is a proud privilege and honour for me to be present here at MEDICON 2021 and receiving this award. I have several cherished memories of my time in the prestigious Delhi Medical Association (DMA), which has a rich history of some of the most esteemed medical professionals, not only in India but anywhere in the world.”

He added, “COVID-19 Pandemic gave us the opportunity that all of us come together and put India before ourselves. Healthcare Workers (HCWs) & Frontline Workers, not just in this room, but across India, rose to the occasion and sacrificed not only their time with family, but also their own mental, physical, and emotional health for this beloved nation. I want to thank you, your colleagues, your friends & family, and everyone else who gave you the strength and encouragement to serve our motherland during the time it needed us the most.”

Dr Vardhan said, “We are 14 months into what is the biggest health crisis in our lifetime and almost 2 months into the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive. As of today, we have administered over 2 crore COVID-19 vaccine shots and have increased our vaccination rate to 15 lakh per day. Unlike most other countries, we have a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccine that are safe with proven immunogenicity & efficacy. Based on the initial results, these Made in India vaccine have shown some of the lowest adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) anywhere in the world.”

He noted, “Under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi Ji, India, has emerged as the world’s pharmacy, and we have supplied 5.51 crore COVID-19 vaccine to 62 different countries. At a time of global crisis, India has emerged as an example to the world in international cooperation. We are fortunate to have a global leader like Narendra Modi Ji who truly is an embodiment of the mantra ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’.”

Looking at the possibility of eradication of COVID-19 in India, Dr Vardhan said, ” We are in the end game of the COVID-19 Pandemic in India, and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow 3 steps: Keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, Trust the science behind COVID-19 Vaccine, and Ensure our near & dear ones get vaccinated on time.”

President, Delhi Medical Association (DMA), Dr B B Wadhwa said, ” Dr Harsh Vardhan is the pride of medical fraternity. He has been the president of DMA in the past. We acknowledge and appreciate his exemplary missionary zeal in getting India Polio-free. When he was the President of DMA in 1993-1994, he was also the Health Minister of Delhi and he started the Novel Pulse Polio Programme which was later taken up by the whole country, and eventually by the SAARC countries. We proudly recall our association with him,”