Support countries with ‘weaker health systems’, Indonesia-led health caucus tells WHO forum

first_imgIndonesia delivered the statement on behalf of the FPGH, an initiative comprising seven countries that aims to promote global health issues at the United Nations’ health agency and in other global forums.Chaired by Indonesia this year, the FPGH also consists of members Brazil, France, Norway, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand – countries that emphasize the importance of international cooperation in mitigating the coronavirus in line with the 2005 International Health Regulations.Last week, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency – also known as a public health emergency of international concern – the sixth of its kind following previous outbreaks that included the 2009 swine flu and 2014 Ebola epidemics.The latest WHO data shows that as of Thursday, the virus had caused 565 deaths with 28,060 confirmed cases globally. Most of the cases emerged in China’s Hubei province, where it is believed to have first been detected. Since then, however, 24 countries globally have confirmed a total of 216 cases, including one death in the Philippines.Despite its large and well-distributed population, as well as a strong dependency on the Chinese economy, Indonesia had yet to report any confirmed cases of the virus as of Friday.On Tuesday, WHO representative to Indonesia N. Paranietharan joined the Health Ministry in surveying Indonesia’s preparedness for handling coronavirus cases at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and the RSPI Sulianti Saroso hospital in Jakarta.“The visit confirmed the strong commitment of the staff and highlighted the importance of vigilant practices in screening for any suspected 2019-nCoV infected people, particularly given the high volume of people arriving to Indonesia through the airport,” the WHO said in a statement published Wednesday.Topics : Indonesia and several like-minded countries have called for solidarity among the international community in helping countries with “weaker” health systems to prepare for public health emergencies, as the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continued to climb globally.Speaking at a World Health Organization executive board meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, an Indonesian representative of the Foreign Policy and Global Health (FPGH) forum said that countries should help one another to prepare for health crises such as the one currently unfurling in China’s Hubei province.”Now is the moment for the international community and relevant stakeholders to enhance unified global solidarity, coordination and preparedness, particularly through ensuring that member states with weaker health systems have the needed support and capacity, to strengthen, prevent and address public health emergencies,” the representative said at the WHO meeting, as quoted in a statement received late on Thursday.last_img read more