Blueprint for Inclusionary Health

G20 officials, ministers, and multilateral organizations have consistently support the health agenda being suggested by India’s G20 presidency headed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emphasizing innovation and universal access to health services and affordable. This has led to an understanding that global collaboration efforts are crucial for planning, preventing and responding to health emergencies.

Global health-related actions that are crucial to the world include reaching a consensus on the global digital health initiative that will unite international efforts in digital health as well as an equal medical countermeasure platform, traditional medical wisdom regarding the future of health, and the importance of climate and health.

Empowerment Through Digital Health

Digital health is emerging as a key factor in universal health healthcare. India’s experiences with platforms such as Co-Win as well as e-Sanjeevani during the outbreak highlighted the potential of digital tools for health care delivery. A national health digital system, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission lets patients keep and share their medical records to ensure optimal care and is a vital element of India’s health digital ecosystem that is bringing all-inclusive healthcare coverage for 1.4 billion Indians.

While a lot of countries embrace digital health, dispersion is a problem. This WHO led Global Initiative on Digital Health solves this problem. The initiative will bring nations with a single digital health platform and promote the use of high-quality technology, privacy and learning across borders.

A Call for Medical Countermeasure Platform

Globally, the disparities in vaccination need to be addressed urgently. While advancements in healthcare allowed us to halt from spreading Covid disease, UNDP data indicate that 73% of people living of high-income countries have received at least one dose of vaccines compared to 36% of people in countries with low income at the time of August 2023. We need to work together to develop guidelines and a global system for ensuring equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines and treatments. This platform must be inclusive, effective and agile. It should also be accountable for providing quick availability of affordable solutions to health problems. The agreement to have a WHO-led consultation via G20 creates a temporary mechanism for immediate implementation, encouraging preparation for future emergencies. The Permanent Global Medical Countermeasures Mechanism (GMCM) is currently in the process of being finalized as part of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body process, which is scheduled to be completed in May 2024.

Resurrecting Traditional Medicine

A majority of the world’s population utilizes traditional medical practices. About 40% of the licensed pharmaceuticals are derived from natural sources. As an example, the creation of aspirin relied on traditional herbal recipes made from willow tree bark as well as child cancer treatments that were influenced by the rosy periwinkle. The G20 India’s WHO-Global Center for Traditional Medicine is an example of this dedication to the scientifically-based function of traditional and complementary therapies to promote health. In this role of pioneering in the field, the G20 takes on the responsibility of awakening ancient wisdom and uncovering the hidden benefits of traditional practices that have been a part of history to benefit humanity by establishing an international platform.

Elevating Climate and Health Priorities

While the world is coming together to deal with the effects of global warming, the effects of climate change are expected to cause 250,000 deaths each year between 2030 to 2050 because of malnutrition and malaria, heat-related stress, and diarrhea, in the words of WHO. Recognizing the intricate links between health and climate and health, the G20 is working on prioritized solutions. A commitment to low carbon resilient health systems that are resilient connects the health sector to larger sustainability goals. The fight against antimicrobial resistance using an One Health approach further exemplifies the global health pledge of the G20.

The G20’s path to averting the pandemic is based on the meaning of an ancient passage, “Good health is the greatest fortune, serving as the foundation for overall prosperity.”

The call to action resonates with force as G20 nations unite to create a new global health environment.

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