G20: India proposes medical countermeasure coordination platform for public good
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Hyderabad: India, under its G20 presidency, has proposed a medical countermeasure coordination platform that will help set norms and standards for the common public good, equity and a voice for the global south to effectively deal with challenges of any Covid-like pandemic.

The mechanism will focus on strengthening the global application of digital health, Dr Lakshmi Narasimhan Balaji, Senior Adviser Health, UNICEF, said on Sunday.

He is attending the third G20 Health Working Group meeting being held here from June 4 to 6.

“It took close to one and half years during the Covid pandemic to get a fuller understanding of the challenges related to equity and that the world is not safe if every country is not secure in terms of being able to control any outbreak.

“G20 and G7 are powerful push mechanisms to get a global agreement. The medical countermeasure priority paper talks about a platform with a regulatory mechanism and rules of engagement among the countries,” Balaji told PTI.

He said India has proposed to set up a coordinating mechanism on medical countermeasures at WHO.

The third Health Working Group Meeting of G20 under India’s presidency will voice the challenges of the global south and contribute to establishing regional networks catering to vaccine therapeutics, research and manufacturing networks and the creation of a global medical countermeasures coordination platform, officials have said.

India’s G20 presidency focuses on three priorities in the health track.

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One of the priorities is health emergency prevention, preparedness and response with a focus on anti-microbial resistance and the One Health framework.

The other is strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector with a focus on access and availability to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures. The third is digital health innovations and solutions to aid universal health coverage and improve healthcare service delivery.

In collaboration with these priorities, co-branded events and side events will be hosted for each health working group meeting that concentrates on an emerging aspect in the health sector such as the Medical Value Travel, the impact of climate change on health, the application and relevance of traditional medicine in the health sector today.

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