Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr the Hon. Christopher Tufton has championed the need for collaborative efforts to strengthen the international health architecture, as the world looks to build back better from COVID-19.
“The road to recovery will be filled with difficulties related to mortality, morbidity and mental health. We are, however, as weak as our weakest link. Therefore, our resolve to strengthening the international health architecture and health security law, are both crucial to building back better,” the Minister said, speaking Tuesday (May 24) at the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.
“It is our global interdependence that will bolster our individual national efforts at maintaining peace and strong, responsive health systems,” he added, noting that this year’s WHA theme, ‘Peace for Health, Health for Peace’ was appropriate and timely.
The Need for Equity in International Health
An essential element of this effort, Dr Tufton noted, must be to address issues of equity.
“One of the main lessons learnt from the pandemic is that equity must be at the core of our efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to health emergencies. The experience of developing countries having little or no access to vital medical countermeasures, such as equipment, supplies and medicines, which affected their response and ultimately, their recovery process, will long be etched in our memories,” he said.
“It is, therefore, critical for us to collectively strive to ensure equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to quality health care products and services. Health is a critical area for international cooperation, and is an area within which countries can truly unite and build peace, irrespective of their size, level of development and resources,”.Dr Tufton
The 75th WHA ran from May 22 to May 28. Among the issues being contemplated by Assembly – the decision-making body for the World Health Organisation – are human resources for health, the health emergencies programme and non-communicable diseases.