India To Focus On Health Emergency Prevention During G20 Presidency

New Delhi, Jan 5 (FN Bureau) Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said that during its G20 Presidency, India will focus on health emergencies prevention, preparedness, and response through ‘One Health’ approach and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance. “India’s G20 Presidency health priorities will be focussed on health emergencies prevention, preparedness, and response,” said Mr Mandaviya. The ‘One Health’ approach helps design, implement and monitor programmes, policies, and research on AMR surveillance to provide evidence and advance inter-sectoral collaboration between the public health, animal health, and environmental health sectors to achieve better public health outcomes. India will aim to play a major role in converging discussions in multiple forums for Global Health Architecture and act as an enabler for reducing fragmentation and duplication. The country will also aim at playing a proactive role in representing the Global South in the negotiations across multilateral global health platforms.

The Union Minister also emphasized upon strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector by creating a permanent medical countermeasure platform and ensuring the availability of safe, quality, and affordable diagnostic vaccines and therapeutics. India, known as the pharmacy of the world. will be able to utilise the agenda to promote distributed manufacturing of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics globally to manage future health emergencies, he said. India has exported drugs and vaccines to over 150 countries globally during the pandemic. Presently, medical countermeasures availability is being linked to national security and India can ensure playing a proactive role in ensuring health security for Global South and low and low-middle income countries. Mr Mandaviya also proposed site events such as a digital health workshop on collaborative research to expand the access to medical counter-measures, medical value travel, and holistic healthcare by providing universal health coverage and improving healthcare service delivery. India already has an established leadership position in Digital Health. Digital Health Resolution in the 71st World Health Assembly was moved by India & endorsed by World. India has been the Chair of the Global Digital Health Partnership, the largest inter-governmental body (which has 33 member countries) for digital health.

The use of Digital Health solutions such as Co-WIN, Telemedicine, & COVID-19 India platform highlighted the advantages of data-driven insights and the use of technology for accessibility, ease of availability, and affordability in health service delivery. Notably, the first Health Working Group (HWG) meeting will be held during January 18 -20 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The second HWG meeting will take place during April 17-19 in Goa, the third during June 4-6 in Hyderabad and the fourth HWG meeting and G20 Health Ministerial Meeting will take place during August 17-19 in Gandhinagar.India formally assumed the the Presidency of G-20 on December 1, 2022 and will hold it till November 30, 2023. For India, an opportunity for setting an agenda for healthcare has been a priority area for G20 deliberations since 2017. The G20 now has health finance in its financial stream and health systems development in the Sherpa stream. An annual G20 meeting of health ministers and a joint health and finance task force reflects the seriousness the subject has gained. The Berlin Declaration 2017 of the G20 health ministers provided a composite approach focusing on pandemic preparedness, health system strengthening and tackling antimicrobial resistance. The COVID-19 pandemic gave added urgency to pandemic preparedness and the Indonesian presidency in 2022 made it the major focus.