Kerala bagged a United Nations award for its “outstanding contribution” towards the non-communicable diseases-related sustainable development goals. The World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general announced the UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) award this year on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja went on to congratulate all the health workers for the achievement of the state and said that the award was a recognition of the tireless service of Kerala in the health sector. Kerala is one among the seven ministries of health across the world and this is Kerala’s first such recognition for an annual award by the United Nations.
“We were able to control the death rate during the Covid-19 period as we were able to focus on the NCDs. Besides, the state-of-the-art lung disease control program, cancer treatment program, and paralysis control program were also considered for the award.” Shailaja said in a statement.
A press release by the Kerala government went on to say that, the award was an acknowledgment of the lifestyle disease control mechanism in Kerala, in conjunction with the facilities for treatments and free services that the state provides to a large segment of its residents.
KK Shailaja’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic in her state was honoured by the United Nations in June this year. She was among a few of the world leaders who were invited to speak on the United Nations Public Service Day and the only speaker from India to speak on the strategies adopted by Kerala to curb COVID-19 transmission. She also said that her experiences during the floods of 2018 and 2019 and tackling the Nipah virus, helped in tackling COVID-19 promptly as the health sector played a crucial role in all of the aforementioned events