WHO member states should disclose key info on vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, says Khairy


PETALING JAYA: The 194 countries that are member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) should disclose information on the intellectual property and manufacturing know-how of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, said Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Health Minister said Malaysia supports sustainable financing and reforms towards an international "health architecture" that will avoid "moral failure" in responses towards the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Khairy said any amendments to the International Health Regulation (IHR) will have to take into account the principles of equity, accountability and transparency and the sovereign process of member states.

ALSO READ: Khairy confirmed as one of five vice presidents of World Health Assembly

"Yes, by all means, hold member states accountable by disclosing key information of public health concerns.

"But, let us call for the disclosure of intellectual property and manufacturing know-how of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics," said Khairy during his speech at the 75th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday (May 24).

The 75th WHA in Geneva from May 22 to 29 is where WHO's 194 member states meet and set a global health agenda.

Khairy, who was newly appointed as one of the five vice-presidents of the 75th WHA, called upon all WHO member states to put in place mechanisms for the fair and equitable distribution of resources needed in a pandemic.

ALSO READ: World Health Assembly to focus on COVID-19, health and peace

"In Malay, we have a saying, 'berat sama dipikul, ringan sama dijinjing'. We must not only share the pain, but also share the cure and recovery," added Khairy.

Khairy also called upon all health ministers and officials present at the 75th WHA to be the voice of social justice in their respective governments.

"To fight for universal health coverage for all of our people. Let us honour the sacrifices of our healthcare workers during the pandemic by demanding resources needed to build resilient healthcare systems, for health to be seen as an investment and not just a budgetary line item, and for us to better look after the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of our people and the health of our shared planet," added Khairy.

Health director-general Tan Sri Noor Hisham Abdullah and Khairy are currently present at Geneva for the 75th WHA from May 22 to 28.

Khairy's appointment as one of the five vice presidents of the 75th WHA came along with candidates from four other countries - Bulgaria, Indonesia, Togo and the United States.

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