Pandemic Policy must define G20 Health Policy: India

Pandemic Policy must define G20 Health Policy: India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India has called upon G20 nations to make 'pandemic policy' the defining part of G20 Health Policy.
Addressing the first Health Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency here on Wednesday (January 18), Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar said that 'pandemic policy' needs to be the defining part of the health policy of G20 nations as any health crisis today leads to an economic crisis due to the multisectoral nature of today's interconnected world. Pandemic prevention, preparedness and response require diverse multi-sectoral, multi-agency coordinated efforts, she pointed out.
Dr. Pawar also emphasized the need for strengthening and empowering communities to become resilient to future health emergencies. "COVID19 will not be the last pandemic. The learnings from the pandemic must form the agenda for our preparedness and response together. We need to diversify our capabilities and ensure that collectively, we preserve ourselves in the face of any health crisis," she said. She also underscored the importance of building resilient health systems and investing in life saving vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
Addressing the meeting, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for "One Earth, One Family, One Future" is pro-planet approach, one that is in harmony with nature for an increasingly globalized world. He also stressed the “need to align our agenda for preparedness and response together to be able to effectively meet any health emergency” of the future. "We should be prepared to collectively meet any health challenges in the future," Mr. Muraleedharan said.
Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that as G20 Chair, India wished to achieve convergence in discussions across various multilateral fora engaged in health cooperation. He also stressed the importance of the three priorities for the G20 Health Track.
He said the the priorities, namely, health emergencies prevention, preparedness and response (with focus on One Health & AMR), strengthening cooperation in pharmaceutical sector with focus on access and availability to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures (vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics), and digital health innovations and solutions to aid universal health coverage and Improve healthcare service delivery are also fundamental to the G20's Health Track.
The Indonesian and Brazilian Troika members commended the Indian Presidency for setting up the three health priorities. The pandemic has given an opportunity to strengthen the health systems of G20 nations. The need today is to accelerate our efforts to ensure universal health coverage, they said.
Dr. V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Lav Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Abhay Thakur, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, representatives from the G20 member countries, special invitee countries, international organizations, forums and partners like WHO, World Bank, World Economic Forum, etc., and senior officers of the Union Government were present.

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