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Member states adopt declaration on collective response to COVID-19 in South-East Asia Region

ANI | Updated: Sep 11, 2020 06:48 IST

New Delhi [India], September 11 (ANI): At the conclusion of the 73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region held under the Chairmanship of Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Thailand, the Health Ministers of the member states agreed to the SEAR Member States' Declaration on the collective response to COVID-19 in South-East Asia Region.
According to an official release, a declaration was issued as follows: (We are) concerned by the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical, mental and social well-being of people, on economies and societies, and in particular by the consequences of disrupted health services, in particular non-COVID-19 essential health care and public health programs, in the Member States of the Region.
Recognizing the importance of regional solidarity, and of the regional initiatives which bolster the resilience of health systems in responses to the pandemic, namely the South-East Asia Regional Flagships on Universal Health Coverage and Health Emergencies which scale up capacity in emergency risk management; SEARHEF which provides rapid financial resources during public health emergencies, and the 2019 Delhi Declaration on Emergency Preparedness which commits to scale up capacities in disaster risk management and emergency preparedness in the Region and WHA73 resolution on COVID-19 response.

Hereby agree to the following: Reaffirm the importance of Universal Health Coverage and Primary Health Care as a safety net for people in accessing quality health services - both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 - emphasizing the need to prioritize investment in Universal Health Coverage and Primary Health Care to ensure equitable access by all people, including vulnerable populations, to all essential health services, without financial barriers, during the pandemic.
Strive to sustain essential health services and public health programs, in particular during public health emergencies and to use this opportunity to build back better our health systems.
Prioritize the health of the population and saving lives by allocating adequate health budget to sustain uninterrupted health services during and after the pandemic.
Strengthen health information systems which capture timely reporting of outbreaks by leveraging digital technologies, and sharing information for policy decision.
Ensure occupational health, safety and wellbeing of health professionals and other related workers, strengthen the safety of patients and the people through adequate public health and social measures, and access to different types of quality personal protective devices. (ANI)