Recently, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare virtually participated in a meeting with Ministers of Health of the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Countries.

Important points:

  • Despite its own needs, during the Covid-19 pandemic, India ensured supply of medicines to 123 partner countries including 59 NAM nations.
  • Universal health coverage is defined as ensuring that all people have access to needed health services (including prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation) of sufficient quality to be effective while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.
  • Ayushman Bharat aims at providing free health assurance to over 500 million underprivileged people, making it the world’s largest health assurance scheme.

It adopts a two-pronged approach:

  1. Firstly, the creation of health and wellness centres to bring health care closer to homes.
  2. Secondly, the formulation of a Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) to protect poor and vulnerable families against financial risk arising out of catastrophic health episodes.
  3. Full immunization coverage is increasing at a rapid pace with a greater emphasis on village-based micro-plans that is aimed at enhancing coverage to 90% in a year.

Non-Aligned Movement:

  • It was formed during the Cold War (1945-1991) as an organisation of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the USA (Capitalism) or the Soviet Union (Socialism) but sought to remain independent or neutral.
  • Six years after the Bandung Conference in 1955, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries was founded on a wider geographical basis at the First Summit Conference of Belgrade, which was held in September 1961.
  • It was held under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Sukarno of Indonesia.


  • The purpose of the organisation was enumerated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign subjugation.
  • It had 120 members as of April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe.
  • There are 17 countries and 10 international organisations that are Observers at NAM.
  • NAM does not have a formal constitution or permanent secretariat, and its administration is non-hierarchical and rotational.
  • Decisions are made by consensus, which requires substantial agreement, but not unanimity.


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