India played a key role globally in the development of vaccines and manufacturing of drugs, diagnostics and therapeutics in the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a top World Health Organisation official said on Tuesday.
WHO Chief Scientist Jeremy Farrar, who is attending the third G20 Health Working Group meeting in Hyderabad, praised India for the way it has hosted the G20 presidency despite complications and tensions around the world.
"The world's a very complicated place at the moment. It's tense. We all lived through the last three years of a terrific pandemic. India played an absolutely critical role in science and technology, development of vaccines, manufacturing of drugs, diagnostics and therapeutics. It played a key role globally," Farrar said.
Key role in ensuring digital health reaches everyone in the world
Two main things that are bringing the countries at the G20 meet here together are digital health initiatives, and science & technology, research & development and manufacturing. "India has played a key role in ensuring digital health reaches everyone in the world -- universal coverage and primary care and making sure we live in a more equitable world in future," he said.
"I think the progress we have made here in the last few days is to make sure we have a future with inevitable pandemics where we have more equitable access to countermeasures we need -- drugs, diagnostics and vaccines -- and India along with partners at the G20 can provide that for the world," Farrar said.
The third G20 Health Working Group meeting is being held in Hyderabad from June 4 to 6. It focuses on three priorities in the health track.
One of the priorities is health emergency prevention, preparedness and response with a focus on antimicrobial resistance and the One Health framework. The second is strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector with a focus on access and availability to safe, effective, quality and affordable medical countermeasures. The third is digital health innovations and solutions to aid universal health coverage and improve healthcare service delivery.
(With inputs from PTI)