3rd G20 Health Working Group Meeting begins at Hyderabad, focus on strengthening knowledge of evidence-based surveillance

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The 3rd Health Working Group meeting under G20 India Presidency is currently underway in in Hyderabad, Telangana. Dr Bharati Praveen Pawar inaugurated the three-day meeting, in presence of G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Tourism, Prof SP Singh Baghel, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog were also present on the occasion. Participants include members of G20 country, guest countries and invited International Organizations.

The first day of the meeting hosted various sessions for deliberations on the G20 India Heath priorities. The inaugural session focused on discussions on the health priorities of the G20 India Health Track. Highlighting the need for continuous strengthening of healthcare systems she stated “The threat of pandemics is far from over. The need is to integrate and strengthen One Health-based surveillance systems.” Adding further, she noted the alignment of G7 and G20 priorities, including the launch of MCM Delivery Partnership during Japan’s G7 Presidency which aligns with G20’s proposal of an end-to-end MCM ecosystem, she urged the G20 fraternity to facilitate on-going efforts, citing “Pandemics may not wait for the finalization of the Pandemic Treaty and hence, the time to act is now.” Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar also informed the delegates of India’s proposal a Global initiative on Digital Health, a WHO-managed network that intends to converge ongoing initiatives in use of technology in the global health arena for the purpose of bridging the digital divide.

Prof S P Singh Baghel lauded the initiative to include prioritizing the issue of financing health systems and societies in the face of an emergency, besides preparedness financing by G20 Joint Finance and Health Task Force and the G7. Emphasizing on the traditional knowledge in healthcare, Shri G Kishan Reddy, stated that “Indian traditional knowledge system propagated preventive and holistic wellbeing for all.”

During the first session on “Health Emergencies Prevention, Preparedness and Response”, the key speakers were Lt Gen Madhuri Kanitkar (Retd.), Vice Chancellor, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Ms. Priya Basu, Executive Head, Pandemic Fund Secretariat, World Bank, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO and Chair, TAP, Pandemic Fund, Mr. Keiichi Hara, Deputy Director General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Co-Chair of G7 Health Working Group, Japan, Mr. Tokio Ozawa, Deputy Assistant Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan.