Huong told the Vietnam News Agency’s reporters in Geneva on the sidelines of the session that the COVID-19 pandemic shows that many countries have yet to make good preparedness for a global-scale epidemic, and warned that another epidemic would happen at any time, requiring all countries to strengthen their capacity and readiness for it.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Lien Huong speaking at 77th World Health Assembly

Countries also need to cooperate and act together to best respond to and minimize global health security threats, and respond quickly and effectively to all possible health risks, Huong suggested.

She pointed to several challenges to public health care, including climate change, the illness and mortality burden by non-communicable diseases, inequal access to health services, and the risk of re-emergence of infectious diseases, especially those that can be prevented by vaccines.

Within the WHA77 framework, countries will consider adopting the Pandemic Treaty and Amendments to International Health Regulations (IHR), whose contents include provisions on enhancing cooperation and information sharing, and promoting the access to production technology and disease prevention products.

Once these documents are approved, this will be a breakthrough for the global health system in preventing and responding to epidemics and medical emergencies.

Ambassador Mai Phan Dung, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other international organizations in Geneva, said that these documents will be a great opportunity for countries around the world, especially developing countries like Vietnam, to access medical services, equipment, vaccines and biological products, thereby helping create a major breakthrough in more effectively preventing future pandemics, and saving more lives, towards a healthy and equal world.

Source: VNA