Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday (March 7) virtually inaugurated the four-day Indo-Pacific Military Health Exchange (IPMHE) conference co-hosted by Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).
Rajnath Singh described medical service as an important pillar for any military, saying that in addition to their own combat-related duties, they are the most valuable second responders in times of natural and man-made calamities & crises and are in a perpetual state of readiness.
He lauded the AFMS for promoting and delivering preventive, curative, rehabilitative medical care to the serving soldier/sailor/airman and their families and the veterans with utmost professionalism.
The theme of the conference is ‘Military Healthcare in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) World’. The conference, which will continue till March 10, aims to enhance cooperation and jointmanship in military medicine. It will cover many important topics including operational/combat medical care, tropical medicine, field surgery, field anaesthesia, aviation & marine medicine emergencies etc.
The conference is attended by more than 600 Indian and foreign delegates from over 38 countries. A delegation of 20 members from the organising committee of the USINDOPACOM is in New Delhi to co-host the conference. The delegates and speakers will interact and share experiences over the four days on 110 topics.
The Defence Minister commended the significant role played by AFMS and USINDOPACOM in addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19. He said, despite limitations such as short warning period, pressure on existing infrastructure and disparity in resources, the last two years have brought out the very best amongst the medical fraternity, civil society volunteer groups and governments which went out of the way to help those in need during the pandemic.
“The last two years have witnessed best practices being developed to overcome disruptions in supply chain, ensure availability of drugs, other medical supplies, vaccines and the knowhow of treatment breakthroughs. We witnessed the Armed Forces criss-cross the seas and skies to reach those who needed assistance in times of calamity. Protocols were designed and implemented to safeguard those who remained in frontline duties. All this became possible because our global village upheld the traditional virtues of community living, sharing and placing the larger good before self. And it was accompanied by modern day advances of shared learning, shared knowledge and shared communication,” he said.
He added that this collective experience has highlighted various invaluable lessons for facing similar challenges in the future.