dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Chemicals and Fertilizers, spoke virtually at the opening session of the G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia today. Indonesia hosted two Health Working Group meetings in Yogyakarta and Lombok to discuss and deliberate on the priority issues of “Harmonizing Global Health Protocol Standards” and “Building the Resilience of the Global Health System”. dr Mansukh Mandaviya also thanked the Indonesian Presidency for prioritizing the issue of tuberculosis and One Health at the meeting and hosting events. India has committed to end TB by 2025, five years ahead of the 2030 global SDG target.
dr Highlighting the status of the pandemic and the need for systemic changes in public health, Mandaviya said, “The ongoing pandemic has presented numerous challenges to health systems around the world, developed and developing countries alike. The current pandemic has highlighted the fault lines in global health governance and has brought to the fore the importance of strengthening the global health architecture. It has reinforced the need to assess health ecosystems, health financing and their linkages in the light of experience in managing the current pandemic.”
He was confident that the continued reduced course of COVID-19 is an encouraging sign that the end of the pandemic is near. He said India agrees to mutual recognition of vaccination records, including its wider application for health data interoperability. “Fostering digital health record systems to enable seamless interoperability of data and the creation of eHealth records longitudinally within a country and globally is critical.” He added. He also proposed to G20 members an institutional framework to enable rapid exchange of genome sequencing data along with a neutral and aggregated data sharing model between countries. This could be done under the Nagoya Protocol across multiple pathogens with equitable benefit sharing.
The Union Health Minister advocated an inclusive, flexible and responsive health emergency management framework, supported by a global surveillance mechanism, sustained funding and equitable distribution of medical countermeasures. He said that “G20 countries generate 80% of world GDP and share 80% of global cross-border trade, and therefore the engagement and leadership of the G20 will be crucial to strengthen the global health architecture and the management of future health emergencies .”
dr Mandaviya reiterated the centrality and importance of WHO as a member-driven process in global health reforms and suggested that the proposals to strengthen the global health architecture discussed during the 75th World Health Assembly should also be included in discussions at the G20 level. This would help avoid duplication and create a robust architecture. He also reiterated the urgent need to bring transparency and accountability to the workings of WHO to make WHO “fit for purpose”, alongside the need to work towards WHO’s financial sustainability.
dr Mandaviya finally emphasized the need for global cooperation and emphasized the members that “a global resilience of health must be created by working on the mutual recognition of detections to support seamlessly cross -border trips and the need to research the research network and Expand mRNA production centers and distributed manufacturing of medical countermeasures with a particular focus on the Global South.”
dr Stressing continued support for the Global South and eliminating inequalities, Mandaviya said mechanisms must be put in place to support low- and middle-income countries. This can be achieved through the strengthening of research and production capacities and the equitable use of medical countermeasures. “G20 countries must prioritize establishing an ecosystem for VTD research, technology transfers, and regional manufacturing hubs, especially in Global South. India will also support this endeavor and will collaborate proactively to develop an mRNA vaccine hub in the global south by extending its manufacturing and research capacity.” This will help the Global South to face future health threats effectively.
(With inputs from PIB)