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Wednesday, 24 November 2021 11:19

Pandemic opportunity to improve global health system: minister

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The COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 5 million lives and infected over 250 million people globally, has provided great collaboration opportunities for building a stronger international health system, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has said.

“We should not let the crisis continue and become increasingly worrying," Sadikin emphasized at an international webinar titled ‘Global and Regional Collaboration for Strengthening Health System Resilience Toward Health Security’, accessed from here on Tuesday.

The pandemic has taught each country to strengthen international collaboration for improving regional and global health systems as well as establishing health system resilience to protect future generations from potential crises, he said.

Hence, Indonesia will invite all countries to rebuild the global health system at the next G20 Presidency, he added.

"We will emphasize three priority health issues amid the Presidency," the minister informed.

First, in building a resilient global health system, it must be ensured that the emergency funding mechanism is accessible to all countries so that every country can get immediate technical and logistical support amid a pandemic, he said.

The second one is establishing a standard global health protocol based on an information system that is able to quickly and effectively respond to a pandemic, he added.

Meanwhile, the last issue concerns encouraging product diversification and technology transfer in the medical sector, he said.

Furthermore, to overcome the pandemic, it is important to pay attention to the production and distribution of medical products so that every country can have equal access to vaccines as well as diagnostic and treatment devices, Sadikin added.

"In reconstructing the global health system, we must uphold the principles of accountability, equality, and solidarity," he remarked.

He said he expected the international webinar – held to commemorate the 2021 National Health Day -- to be a discussion and sharing platform to prepare for stronger collaboration.

“We should not waste our time anymore. Let's turn this crisis into an opportunity. Let's work together to prepare a better world for our next generations if any crisis arises in the future," he added.

Several topics were discussed at the webinar such as the COVID-19 epidemiological update, the implementation of the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies (APSED), strategies to strengthen ASEAN regional health security, as well as each country’s experiences in handling the pandemic.

Program area manager, country health emergency preparedness, and international health regulations (IHR) of WHO, Masaya Kato; head of the health division of the ASEAN Secretariat, Ferdinal Moreno Fernando; and acting director general of disease prevention and control at the Indonesian Health Ministry, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, also spoke at the webinar.  (Antaranews)

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