Malaysia is committed to working together with other parties to address critical gaps that remain in health emergency prevention, preparedness and response.
Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa, in her country remarks at the 152nd Session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland said it includes strengthening International Health Regulations (IHR) and the potential amendments in addition to brainstorming at the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) meetings.
“Malaysia believes that the targeted amendments proposed will further enhance global health security with respect to the principles of equity, accountability, and transparency and the sovereign process of member states.
“As Chair of the Standing Committee for Health Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (SCHEPPR), Malaysia will continue to work closely with the Members,” she said.
Her speech text was made available to Bernama today.
According to WHO’s official websites, the IHR provides an overarching legal framework that defines countries’ rights and obligations in handling public health events and emergencies that have the potential to cross borders.
Dr Zaliha also stressed the gravity of the Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) epidemic which is increasing in all countries, and also one of the greatest disease threats in the Western Pacific Region, which accounts for 87 percent of all deaths in 2019.
“We see a disturbing trend of late, whereby those afflicted with NCDs are getting younger and younger. This is a solemn reminder for us all to keep persevering with the preventive work being done around the globe,” she added.
On global surgery, Dr Zaliha said it is imperative for member states to explore on pooling of resources in terms of assets, training of both surgeons and non-doctors, medicines and supplies.
“Malaysia would be delighted to host a side event at the upcoming 76th World Health Assembly in May. We welcome the support of our fellow Executive Board members and look forward to innovative viewpoints on surgical care system strengthening,” she said. – Bernama