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Reform WHO for a better world: Modi

Posted May 13th, 2022, 10:16 AM IST

Reform WHO for a better world: Modi

Calling attention to the fact that India fully vaccinated almost 90 per cent of its adult population and more than 50 million of its children, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) “must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture.” During his address at the second global virtual summit on COVID-19 hosted by the US President Joe Biden, PM also pitched for making the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, particularly the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), more flexible.

At the summit, the PM also called for “streamlining WHO's approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep supply chains stable and predictable.”

In his address, Mr Modi also emphasised on “building a resilient global supply chain and enabling equitable access to vaccines and medicines.” He said, “As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts.”

The PM said, “The Covid pandemic continues to disrupt lives, supply chains and tests the resilience of open societies. In India, we adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic. We have made the highest ever allocation to our annual healthcare budget. Our vaccination programme is the largest in the world… India manufactures four WHO approved vaccines and has the capacity to produce five billion doses this year. We supplied over 200 million doses to 98 countries, bilaterally and through COVAX. India has developed low-cost COVID mitigation technologies for testing, treating and data management. We have offered these capabilities to other countries.”

He added, “India's Genomics Consortium has contributed significantly to the global database on the virus. I am happy to share that we will extend this network to countries in our neighborhood. In India, we extensively used our traditional medicines to supplement our fight against COVID and to boost immunity, saving countless lives. Last month, we laid the foundation of WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine in India, with an aim to make this age-old knowledge available to the world.”

The prime minister said there was a need for building a resilient global supply chain and enabling equitable access to vaccines and medicines. He said, “It is clear that a coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies.”

Later, in a statement on the Summit, New Delhi said, “Other participants included co-hosts of the event - heads of state/Government of Belize in its capacity as chair of CARICOM, Senegal as chair of the African Union, Indonesia as president of G20 and Germany as president of G7 respectively. Secretary general of the United Nations, director general of WHO and other dignitaries also participated.”