Tracking health emergencies, preparedness and response, strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector and digital health innovation and solutions are the three priorities under health for India in the G20 presidency, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday.
COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the entire world in a major way has highlighted the need that all countries need to join hands to prevent and fight such a crisis, he said.
Health emergencies, prevention, preparedness and response with a focus on one health and antibiotic resistance is top on the agenda and 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, he said.
Another major focus would be on strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector for availability and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures, Mandaviya said.
“India is known as the pharmacy of the world. India will be able to utilize the agenda to promote distributed manufacturing of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics globally so as to manage future health emergencies,” he said.
India has exported drugs and vaccines to over 150 countries globally during the pandemic. At present, 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 middle-income countries, he said. India will also focus on digital health innovation and solutions (universal health coverage and improving healthcare service delivery) with an aim of converging existing global efforts for digital health into an institutional framework, to create a repository, customise the best healthcare digital solutions and provide to countries in need with specific focus on low and middle-income countries.
Ongoing agendas in G20 also touch upon digital health, as in one health surveillance, research, value-based healthcare etc. Mandaviya said India already has an established leadership position in digital health. Digital Health Resolution in 71st World Health Assembly was moved by India and endorsed by the world. India has been the chair of Global Digital Health partnership, the largest inter-governmental body (33 countries as members) for digital health, he added.
According to Mandaviya, “Use of digital health solutions such as Co-WIN, telemedicine and COVID-19 India platform highlighted the advantages of data-driven insights and use of technology for accessibility, ease of availability, and affordability in health service delivery.” Four events on medical value travel and digital health, affordable medicine and traditional medicine along with HWG meetings to enrich and supplement support G20 discussions will be held in Kerala, Goa, Telangana and Gujarat. PTI PLB ZMN