New Delhi, February 1: The World Health Organization lauded the Budget 2024 announcement extending healthcare coverage to ASHA, Anganwadi workers, and helpers under Ayushman Bharat Scheme. "ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and helpers are at the forefront of health and care delivery at the grassroots level. The World Health Organization (WHO) applauds the extension of healthcare coverage to them under Ayushman Bharat," Dr Roderico H. Ofrin, WHO Representative to India, said.

While presenting the Interim Budget for the Financial Year (FY) 2024-25, the Union Finance Minister also announced encouraging vaccination for girls in the age group of 9 to 14 years for the prevention of cervical cancer. She also said that the healthcare cover under Ayushman Bharat scheme will be extended to all ASHA workers, Anganwadi Workers and Helpers. Union Budget 2024-25 Key Takeaways: From Tourism to Income Tax and More, Highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman's Interim Budget Speech.

Further talking about the steps taken to upgrade the existing healthcare infrastructure, WHO welcome the move and Dr Roderico said, "The initiatives announced today - upgrading existing hospital infrastructure to increase medical colleges, harmonization of maternal and child care implementation, introduction of HPV vaccination for cervical cancer prevention, and the expansion of the U-WIN platform across for managing and intensifying immunization - will further strengthen systems and healthcare services across the country."

"WHO welcomes investments in these areas and will continue to support the Government of India in achieving health for all and meeting its disease elimination goals," Roderico added. Union Budget 2024-25: Indian Economy Witnessed Profound Positive Transformation in Last 10 Years, Says FM Nirmala Sitharaman (Watch Video).

Stating that 'women and health' are significant for a developed India, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Executive Vice Chairperson, Shobana Kamineni on Thursday said that the Interim Budget 2024, presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament, covered both factors well.

"First I am glad that it was delivered by a woman, so it gave a huge intent. It was a sharp budget. If you want to develop India, women have to be developed. With this, health has to be a focus. Both these were covered quite well for an Interim Budget. I have to applaud it," Kamineni said.

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