Statement by Indiaat the 71st World Health Assembly (21-26 May 2018) on Agenda Item: 11.2 Public Health Preparedness and Response

Statement by India at the 71st World Health Assembly (21-26 May 2018) on Agenda Item: 11.2 Public Health Preparedness and Response


Thank You Mr. Chair,

The spate of recent global disasters has highlighted the need for greater public health preparedness. A robust response system is required to address the existing and emerging challenges.

In 2017, India had communicated to WHO regarding its status of compliance to IHR based on self-assessment of IHR core capacities. The implementation of IHR core capacities remains an important ongoing process and India continues to invest in strengthening and building IHR core capacities.

India has consistently maintained that self-assessment is an objective tool for IHR implementation and the Joint External Evaluation should be voluntary and not thrust upon on Member States.

India compliments the good work done by the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, including the finalization of a Global Coordination Mechanism for R&D. India would, however, request more information on the GCM R&D framework to help us better understand and analyse its progress.

Mr. Chair,

The focus of the strategic plan is on preparedness and response. Hence it misses out on preventive strategies like immunization, bio-safety, bio security, AMR; mitigation strategies like public health risk assessment and management, disaster resilient health structures; and some aspects of preparedness strategies like health workforce development, medical countermeasures for certain hazards, R & D in context of public health emergencies.

There is no doubt that WHO must be well equipped and geared to deal effectively with public health emergencies. India acknowledges the existing gaps in emergency response namely insufficient funding, inadequate capacities and technical resources and these need to be addressed on priority.

India believes that for faster and more effective mobilization of resources in times of health emergencies, the country offices and regional offices of the WHO should be given sufficient resources and leeway in terms of contingency decision making.

Mr. Chair,

WHO should be able to supplement and not supplant national efforts. India has been supportive and we will continue to support the work of WHO in building up a robust, efficient and reliable public health preparedness and response system.

Thank You.

 
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