Under India’s G20 Presidency the Second Health Working Group (HWG) meeting scheduled from 17th April to 19th April began in Goa today. The 2nd Meeting of the Health Working Group held thematic discussions on three priorities identified under the G20 Health Track. The meeting was attended by Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Union Health Secretary Shri Rajesh Bhushan along with more than 180 delegates from 19 member states of G20 countries, 10 invited states, and 22 international organizations.
On the first day of the meeting, Dr. Bharti Praveen Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, delivered the keynote address, and Shripad Naik, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways, also delivered a special speech at the inaugural session. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bharti Praveen Pawar said, “India’s G20 priorities focus on multilateralism which creates an accountable, inclusive, equitable, and representative forum to address the many challenges of the 21st century.” He said that there is a need to leverage the momentum of ongoing discussions in the global health sector and focus on critical aspects such as collaborative surveillance, community protection, access to medical countermeasures, and emergency coordination. Dr. Pawar said that apart from global medicine, he stressed the need to develop a consensus on future health emergency management, R&D networks, and manufacturing of vaccines and therapeutics.
Three sessions were held on the first day of the meeting to deliberate on the three priorities identified under the G20 Health Track. The first is Health Emergencies Prevention, Preparedness, and Response with a focus on One Health and AMR (antimicrobial resistance). The second is Strengthening Cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector with a focus on access and availability to safe, effective, quality, and affordable medical countermeasures (vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics). The third priority includes Digital Health Innovations and Solutions to Aid Universal Health Coverage and Improve Healthcare Service Delivery.
During this meeting, delegates also got a chance to have a glimpse of the vibrant art and culture of Goa. Post the meeting, delegates were served delicious dishes made from millet, one of nature’s most nutritious foods.
Furthermore, two sessions are planned for the second day. In addition to the meeting, a side event focusing on Digital Health will also be organized for the delegates.