Pakistan to host ‘Global Health Security Summit 2024’ from Jan 10

Future challenges to health security to be discussed in moot, says health ministry official

ISLAMABAD: The federal capital will host health authorities and international health organisations participating in a two-day ‘Global Health Security Summit 2024’ being held on January 10 and 11, the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C) said.

Health authorities from at least 15 countries and health organisations have confirmed their participation in the first summit of its kind for which Pakistan is the chair, The News reported on Saturday.

“Being the chair of the Global Health Security Agenda, Pakistan is holding the global health security summit next week on January 10 and 11 to draw the world’s attention towards threats and challenges to global health security in the days and months to come. We have invited authorities from 30 countries and organisations. 15 of them have so far confirmed their participation in the summit,” a senior official of the federal health ministry told the publication.

‘Together for a Healthy Planet’ has been selected as the slogan for the summit, while its key thematic areas include the impact of global health security on national security, pandemic preparedness and response, climate change and emerging public health threats, multi-sectoral coordination in the context of ‘One Health’ and sustainable financing based on equity for global health security, the official said.

Access to Universal Health Coverage/PHC platform to achieve SDG3 as well as ensuring vaccine equity, patent deregulation and transfer of vaccine manufacturing technology would also be discussed during the moot, he added.

The official maintained that key strategic objectives of the summit are to collaborate with global leaders to ensure equity-based pandemic preparedness, financing for low and middle-income countries, mutual exchange of knowledge as well as sharing experience with member states and experts around summit thematic areas including vaccine equity, patent deregulation and transfer of technology.

The conference is also aimed at securing global and regional partnerships with international organisations for aligning health security priorities with those of global and regional priorities to strengthen core capacities through technical assistance.

Another key objective of the moot is to explore opportunities of joint working and pool funding for health security and International Health Regulations 2005 across the region and globe (pandemic fund — “One Health”) in addition to the sustainable domestic funding for its five-year health security plan 2024-28.

A future ‘global health security charter’ will be signed to build up a narrative for an equity-based pandemic treaty based on an equity-based global financing facility on the mutually agreed upon “Islamabad declaration”.

This will be done to make health systems resilient enough to showcase health security by putting up a coordinated ‘One Health response’ to any threat. Also to become advocates and champions of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in participating member states, the health ministry official added.

Caretaker Federal Health Minister Dr Nadeem Jan had earlier told a group of newsmen on Wednesday that the summit was aimed at drawing the world’s attention towards future pandemics and strengthening collective ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats like Covid-19.

“After the Covid-19 threat was over and WHO declared that it was no longer a public health emergency, entire world put global health security on the back burner. But, we in Pakistan strongly believe that being chair of the Global Health Security Agenda, there is an urgent need to discuss issues concerning global health security and take timely actions to prevent and deal with future pandemics,” the health minister had told a group of journalists at the Ministry of National Health Services.

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