Strong health systems to fight pandemics

Blood samples are being prepared with a centrifuge

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa claimed over 10,000 lives and showed that such highly infectious diseases can only be contained with international cooperation. The Zika virus highlighted the need for greater international cooperation on fighting pandemics. In view of this, the German G20 Presidency announced that international cooperation in the health sector would be strengthened.

The G20 is in agreement that sound healthcare systems are important to ensuring universal healthcare and, therefore, to tackling health crises. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there is certainly a need to strengthen healthcare systems worldwide.

The G20 health ministers adopted the strategy paper "Healthy systems for universal health coverage – a joint vision for healthy lives" as their frame of reference for strengthening healthcare systems. The paper makes an important contribution towards implementation of Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By adopting this paper, the G20 has sent an important message of support for the right to healthcare.

The G20 has also resolved to undertake regular simulations of a health crisis in order to reduce the risk of pandemics occurring. The aim of these exercises is to better prepare for future crises so as to be able to mount a more rapid and effective response.

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