Health summit commits for unified response to emerging health challenges
- Web Desk
- Jan 11, 2024
ISLAMABAD: The global health summit, a two-day event with health ministers from countries, health experts and stakeholders from around the world, concluded on Thursday (today) with a resounding commitment to a unified, coordinated response to emerging health challenges. The summit provided a platform for insightful discussions, knowledge exchange, and the establishment of collaborative initiatives to strengthen global health security.
The summit presented determination and shared vision among nations, transcending geopolitical boundaries in the pursuit of a common goal. Discussions covered a wide spectrum of topics, from collaborative preparedness to the critical role of resilient health systems. Delegates representing diverse corners of the globe shared invaluable insights, emphasizing the interconnectedness of our shared destiny.
The federal minister for NHSRC congratulated the participating delegates and participants to make this Summit a successful event. “Beyond national interests, we are partners for a common goal – to ensure the health of all,” said the Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan at the conclusion of the Summit.
During his remarks, the health minister Dr. Nadeem Jan proposed to introduce a Global Health Security Agenda Champion Awards to be bestowed upon the countries/ individuals based on their exemplary contributions to the cause. He also proposed the inclusion of a dedicated special session on global health security in both the annual UNGA and World Health Assembly agendas. This would provide a regular platform for nations to review progress, share insights, and discuss emerging health challenges on a global scale. A comprehensive 5-years global action plan was proposed to guide nations in implementing strategies for enhancing health security.
“As we conclude this summit, let it not be an endpoint but a launchpad and beginning of the end. Commitments made here must translate into concrete actions in our respective nations. Implementation is the litmus test of our dedication to the ideals espoused during these deliberations,” urged Minister Dr. Nadeem Jan.
Federal Secretary Iftikhar Ali Shalwani expressed his joy, stating that it was a “dream come true” to witness the collaborative efforts of policy makers, experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world. He emphasized the need for continued collaboration, and the implementation of evidence-based strategies to safeguard global health. In his address, he underscored the importance of the summit as a platform for forging partnerships and creating a roadmap for collective action.
Dr Muhammad Ahmed Kazi, Director General of Health, expressed sincere gratitude to distinguished guests, esteemed colleagues, and participants for their active engagement throughout the summit. He also summarized the main highlights of the two day proceedings of the Summit.
On the pandemic preparedness and response, experts emphasized the urgent need to enhance global capacities for prevention, detection, and response. The Ministry of Climate Change was acknowledged as a bridge facilitating collaborations.
On the multi-sectoral Coordination in the Context of “One Health”, the recommendations included developing zoonotic disease surveillance programs, promoting increased coordination, introducing artificial intelligence for disease surveillance, and institutionalizing One Health efforts through a dedicated secretariat. On the topic of Sustainable Financing and Global Health Security, the summit called for advocating health systems financing, prioritizing equity in vaccine distribution, promoting sustainable financing through public-private partnerships, and emphasizing the importance of investing in preparedness.
While towards the end, on the topic of the Impact of Global Health Security on National Security, member states were urged to prioritize health security as part of the public health agenda, maintain core capacities gained during COVID-19, and address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through a cross-sectoral approach.
In closing, heartfelt appreciation was extended to every delegate, expert, and representative for contributing to the success of this summit. The summit was referred to as a beacon, illuminating the path toward a world where health is an unassailable right for every citizen.
Let us march forward together in the pursuit of global health security. As we have shown solidarity for a healthy planet, we will always be ‘Together,’ and you will find Pakistan as your friend, your support, your voice – that’s what Pakistan stands for, Minister reiterated.
Federal Secretary Iftikhar Shalwani presented the main features of the declaration agreed upon by the participants. The declaration outlines key commitments and action points that will guide future initiatives in the realm of global health security.