Improving access to essential medical products in the region and beyond
Adelegation of senior officials led by the Advisor to the Ministry of Health Aum Kinley Yangzom will be attending the seventy first session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for South- East Asia in New Delhi, India from tomorrow.
The Regional Committee for South- East Asia is the WHO’s governing body in the South- East Region, with representation from all 11 member states of the region.
The WHO Regional Committee convenes once every year to review and discuss progress in the health development and public health issues important to the regions, among others. The Regional Committee also sets policy and approve programme budget of WHO.
This session of the WHO Regional Committee for South- East Asia will deliberate on improving access to medicines during the ministerial roundtable. To this effect, the 11 member states of WHO SouthEast Asia Region will adopt a declaration on improving access to essential medical products, election of the Regional Director of World Health Organization South- East Asia Regional Office and deliberate on other technical and programmatic issues.
High on the agenda is the need for improving access to essential medical products in the region and beyond.
In order to make progress towards universal health coverage (UHC), more equitable access to essential medical products (medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics and medical devices) is needed.
According to WHO despite some progress in the past 10 years, it has not been uniform and challenges remain in availability, quality and affordability. The markets for medical products have changed in recent years. Demand has expanded, with new health care needs from non communicable diseases and ageing populations, and as effective new therapies has become available. The south Asian region is now a major manufacturer of medical products worldwide, primarily generic medicines and vaccines. This means there are new opportunities for improving access-through both individual and collective country action-with benefits within the region and beyond. Progress will involve a wide range of stakeholders within and beyond ministries of health.