It is important that the countries in the southeast Asian region strengthen their healthcare systems based on the primary healthcare approach and use domestic resources as far as possible, he said.
The president was addressing the inaugural function of the 66th session of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) regional committee meeting here.
Mukherjee said strategic investments in medical education and training would be needed to enhance the availability of scientifically credible professionals for all communities.
"Existing inefficiencies in the supply chain and logistics management of drugs and vaccines should also be addressed on a priority basis," he said.
He added there was an urgent necessity to build a conducive environment to ensure the highest quality of health for the people of the region.
The WHO regional meet, being attended by health ministers of 11 southeast Asian countries, would discuss, among other things, high blood pressure and health issues related to ageing.
Mukherjee said: "This international platform is crucial for this region since it houses 1.79 billion people, 26.4 percent of the global population. As many as 46 percent of this region's population is living below the poverty line."
"A significant portion of the disease burden in this region, more than 28 percent, arises from communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions and nutritional deficiencies which are closely knitted with poverty," he said.
He said it was also a matter of concern that the southeast Asia region registers the lowest total expenditure on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (3.8 percent) and per capita total expenditure on health as per world health statistics 2009, with 84.4 percent out of pocket expenditure.
The president said the health situation is not uniform in all countries of the region. "Some countries are still lagging far behind and would require much more efforts as well as resources to achieve the health-related millennium development goals".
--IANS (Posted on 10-09-2013)