Roadmap for the WHO South-East Asia Region to strengthen emergency preparedness and response

Paro: In order to strengthen preparedness and response capacities for public health emergencies with multidimensional impact, a regional roadmap based on lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should be rolled out in the WHO Asia Region. from the South East. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the impact of health emergencies is not limited to health alone. Economies and social welfare have been greatly affected. Globally, risks from natural and man-made hazards are also likely to lead to major and frequent health emergencies given the weakened systems the pandemic would leave behind and the looming threats of climate change.

The roadmap aims to protect vulnerable people and economies from the impact of public health emergencies by strengthening national and regional health security and the resilience of health systems, said the regional director for South Asia. Is for WHO, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh during the ongoing seventy-fifth. regional committee meeting.

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The Regional Strategic Roadmap on Health Security and Resilience of Health Systems to Emergencies 2023-2027 was formulated after detailed consultations with member countries and experts and incorporates global and regional priorities and recommendations. It aims to strengthen capacities to anticipate, prevent and manage health emergencies while maintaining essential health services through strengthened governance and collaboration within and between countries in the region.

Dr Khetrapal Singh pointed out that a Regional Health Emergencies Council (RHEC), comprising the heads of member countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region, is being planned with the proposal of the Director-General of the WHO, Dr Tedros, World Health Emergencies Council.

The council will ensure commitment and engagement of political leaders at the highest level for preparedness and response to health emergencies in the Region to save lives and livelihoods and the detailed terms of reference and operational modalities of the RHEC will be developed in consultation with the member. States in due time.

The Region is also rolling out the “WHO South-East Asia Regional Roadmap for Diagnostic Preparedness, Integrated Laboratory Networking and Genomic Surveillance 2023-2027”, developed to provide member countries a range of policy options to develop sustainable strategies to improve their national laboratories and prepare their laboratory systems to improve surveillance and respond more effectively to emerging and re-emerging diseases and other potential public health emergencies.

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These roadmaps would help member countries develop or update their national health security action plans and strengthen whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches to enable more effective preparedness, preparedness and response to public health emergencies. .

The Regional Strategic Roadmap on Health Security and Health System Resilience to Emergencies aims to strengthen health security systems to reduce risk, detect early, prevent and respond to health emergencies public as well as to recover from their impact. It also aims to strengthen governance, financing and enabling functions for emergency preparedness and response.

In addition, the roadmap aims to strengthen regional alert, preparedness and response systems, through better regional collaboration.

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The roadmap should help countries prevent or mitigate the multidimensional impact of emergencies on people and providers, and protect vulnerable people, while ensuring that resilient health systems are capable of a rapid recovery. only towards “normality”, but to be “better rebuilt”. » post-emergency.

A robust health system with well-developed building blocks leading to service delivery with universal coverage, is not only fundamental for health security, but also essential to meet the increased demand for services, the continuity of essential services during emergencies and for the system to bounce back to normal quickly after an emergency – the three key characteristics of a resilient health system, Dr Khetrapal said.

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(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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