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G20 Leaders Stress On Achieving Universal Health Coverage, Enhancing Pandemic Preparedness

The two-day G20 Leaders’ Summit, under India’s presidency, concluded here on Sunday.

New Delhi: G20 leaders have resolved to build more resilient, equitable, sustainable and inclusive health systems to achieve universal health coverage, enhance pandemic preparedness and strengthen existing infectious disease surveillance systems.

The two-day G20 Leaders’ Summit, under India’s presidency, concluded here on Sunday.

In their joint declaration, the leaders stressed on strengthening primary healthcare, health workforce and essential health services to better-than-pre-pandemic levels, ideally within the next two to three years.

Besides focusing on epidemics such as tuberculosis and AIDS, the grouping of emerging and developed economies recognised the importance of research on long COVID-19.

The G20 leaders committed to improving access to medical countermeasures and facilitating more supplies and production capacities in developing countries to prepare better for future health emergencies.

The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration highlighted the need to promote the One Health-based approach driven by the quadripartite One Health Joint Plan of Action (2022-2026) and enhance the resilience of health systems.

It also stressed the need to support the development of climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems in collaboration with multilateral development banks (MDBs) and support the work of the WHO-led Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH).

It also stressed implementing and prioritising tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) following the One Health approach, including research and development, infection prevention and control, as well as antimicrobial stewardship efforts within respective national action plans through AMR and antimicrobial consumption surveillance.

The Declaration called for facilitating equitable access to safe, effective, quality-assured, and affordable vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other medical countermeasures, especially in low- and middle-income countries and least-developed countries.

The declaration recognised the potential role of evidence-based traditional and complementary medicine in health and took note of international efforts in this direction, including WHO’s global and collaborating centres, and clinical trial registries.

While highlighting the public health dimension of the world drug problem, the leaders called for strong international counter-narcotics cooperation, free of unnecessary restrictions, including information sharing and capacity building to disrupt the production and proliferation of illicit drugs, including synthetic drugs, and precursor chemicals at their origin, in transit and at destination points.

The leaders committed to strengthening the global health architecture for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response through enhanced collaboration between finance and health ministries under the Joint Finance and Health Task Force.

They resolved to strengthen global health and implement the One Health Approach by building more resilient, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive health systems to achieve universal health coverage, enhance pandemic preparedness and strengthen existing infectious disease surveillance systems.

Discussions on the Framework on Economic Vulnerabilities and Risks (FEVR) and the initial Report for Economic Vulnerabilities and Risks arising from pandemics, created through collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, IMF, and European Investment Bank (EIB) were held.

India has also committed to providing its vaccine management platform CoWIN, its telemedicine platform e-Sanjeevani, and its Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission platform as digital public goods to others. 

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