April 25, 2022
JAKARTA – Countries are seemingly varied in terms of the level of COVID-19 pandemic recovery, resulting from, among other things, inequal distribution of vaccines, health devices and the lack of funds that poor countries are facing. These reflect the importance of addressing global health architecture issues to ensure there will be no gap left for the coronavirus to harm humans.
The significance of a global health architecture was emphasized by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo when addressing the issues of global economy and health at the 2021 Group of 20 Rome Summit.
President Jokowi urged all countries to reinforce a global health architecture to ensure the global community’s resilience toward any future pandemic. To embody the aspirations, the President explained three points. First, the urgent need to prepare a global health resource-raising mechanism. This covers funds, vaccines, medicines, health equipment and health workers ready to work anytime to help a health crisis-facing country anytime.
“The IMF [International Monetary Fund] has given us an example of how to raise global funds to assist countries that face financial difficulties,” Jokowi added.
International financial support for health and climate change issues means a lot, according to the President.
Second, the need to prepare global health protocol standards associated with cross-border activities, including health protocols for inter-country traveling.
Third, G20 should become a significant part of the solution to coping with the scarcity and disparity of vaccines, medicines and essential health devices. The President pointed out that the G20 had to advocate for production diversity and technology transfer to developing countries, eliminate obstacles to the trade of vaccine basic materials, support the TRIPS Waiver, continue to promote vaccination and support the COVAX facility.
According to the President, the re-governance of global health resilience architecture should be inclusive and consistently adopt the principle of solidarity, transparency and equality.
In alignment with Jokowi’s speech at the 2021 G20, global health architecture will be on the agenda for Indonesia’s G20 presidency.
A government official said the path to global recovery required stronger collective cooperation that ensured the equality of global health standards and closer collaboration to ensure the global community’s resilience toward any future pandemic.
The global impact of the pandemic should be an opportunity for the global community to start join hands.
Through the G20 forum, Indonesia will encourage the strengthening of global health resilience and help make a global health system more inclusive, equitable and responsive to crises.
The discussion of a resilient global health architecture will be the focus of a series of meetings in Indonesia’s G20 presidency.
Addressing pandemic preparedness and advancing transformative infrastructure post-COVID-19 will be discussed through various forums, namely the Health Working Group, Joint Finance and Health Task Force, Development Working Group, Civil 20, Science 20 and many more.
Better global health system
Meanwhile, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said it was high time to address a reform of the global health architecture, which aimed to create a better global health system.
“We play a crucial role in building global health architecture for the sake of future generations. It is very clear that President Jokowi aspires to inherit the reform of global health architecture,” Budi said during the T20 Inception Conference: Realizing Inclusive Recovery From the COVID-19 Pandemic on Feb. 9.
“We can pass on the better global health system to the younger generation.”
Budi listed three commitments that Indonesia had made with respect to the global health system.
In the first commitment, Indonesia encourages countries to develop global mobilization and supervisory mechanisms and a range of genomic data.
“We will open a platform to respond to global health threats today and in the future from the standpoint of strengthening. We have to enhance the capacity of the prevention, detection and effectively respond to the pandemic in a highly coordinated manner,” Budi explained.
“Second, Indonesia ensures that we can have a global-standard health architecture that is above current standards — faster than before. It is important to ensure comprehensive protocols to save many lives.”
“We have to be aware that modern issues require innovative solutions. Together we can harmonize global health standards, a standard journey in global preference that will enable a fast social and economic recovery, as well as a digital application system of health information jointly recognized across borders.
“Third, Indonesia can broaden and ensure the equal redistribution of global manufacture centers and global resources for a primary prevention, preparedness and response and genome.”
An epidemiologist at Griffith University, Australia, Dicky Budiman, revealed that an existing global health resilience system has been part of the international health regulation (IHR) since 2005. The system has a good basis for facing unforeseen health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“And yet, the problem is the system has yet to be implemented well, and as a consequence, not a single country was ready to face the heath crisis when the pandemic hit the world,” he told Voice of America (VOA) radio station.
According to him, the IHR has loopholes that need improvements.
“For example, points regarding the importance of early detection and how to collaborate between countries, including the issue of limiting air flights between countries, are contained in the IHR but are not implemented,” he said.
Therefore, he said, it would be better to strengthen the existing architecture of global health resilience set in the IHR in the post-COVID pandemic, rather than prepare a new one, which requires the approval of many countries.
The digital health services industry or e-health has a big opportunity to thrive in the growing digital economy in Indonesia.
Health digital services
Communications and Informatics Johnny G. Plate asked e-health industrial players to collaborate and take advantage of the opportunities presented by Indonesia’s G20 presidency.
Indonesia’s digital economic growth during the COVID-19 pandemic was inseparable from the presence of digital services.
“During the pandemic, health digital services opened access to more people, making it increasingly inclusive. That’s why I am asking all partners in the health sector to forge collaboration and synergy,” the minister said at the third Digital Economic Forum held in Jakarta on Nov. 11, 2021.
According to the minister, in 2021, the valuation of the digital economy was estimated to reach Rp 1 trillion (US$70 billion). It is projected to grow to $146 billion by 2025.
Health has a huge potential, including electronic health.
“This explains why we need to have meetings to gain input from industries so that the policies that are designed can really take side the development of industries, including the e-health industry, in order to enhance our services to the public,” he noted.
Through the meetings, industrial players would be able to communicate and coordinate with the government, the minister said.