G20: 2nd HWG meeting to discuss easing global health access
Jakarta, June 4 (ANTARA) - The 2nd Health Working Group (HWG) meeting will raise the issue of easing of global health access and provision of essential medical supplies through mechanisms such as the ACT Accelerator for handling COVID-19. The statement was conveyed by the Indonesian G20 Presidency’s health spokesperson, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, here on Friday (June 3). "Efforts to bring closer access to health and its essential supplies will be one of the discussion keys of the 2nd Health Working Group (meeting)," she said. According to the G20 website, the 2nd HWG meeting will be held on June 6 and 7, 2022, in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. During the first meeting on March 28–30, G20 member states agreed to harmonize health protocols globally. Health initiatives, such as the ACT Accelerator mechanism launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners in April 2020, can be considered for supporting access to essential health equipment for facing future pandemics, Tarmizi said. According to her, the ACT Accelerator has ensured equitable distribution of crucial supplies for dealing with COVID-19 across countries. Essential goods include testing kits, therapies, and vaccines, she said. "Then, we can create a global model that is more sustainable, to maintain, ease, and bring access to medical devices and other essential health supplies closer, and facilitate mobilization if we face the next pandemic," Tarmizi added. She affirmed that Indonesia will push for efforts to strengthen the global health architecture at the 2nd Health Working Group meeting. Furthermore, she revealed, issues related to financial intermediary funds (FIFs) will also be taken up at the meeting. The meeting is expected to result in an agreement among G20 countries on continuing to use GISAID as a platform for sharing data as a form of global surveillance, she added. Moreover, she said she hoped that GISAID will be used not only to disseminate data about influenza or SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, but also other viruses that have the potential to trigger a pandemic.