Samia: Curb global inequalities

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has said concerted efforts are needed to master the adverse effects of new epidemics to curb global inequalities.

She made the remarks at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Doha, Qatar yesterday, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic waged division in society with the impacts borne disproportionately by the most vulnerable.

WISH summit which seeks to shape the global discussion on health innovation and its potential impact on health systems and advances was founded by Qatar Foundation in 2013 and has become a leading global platform where scientists, entrepreneurs and policy makers meet to develop solution to major health issues facing the world today and explore ways in which innovation can improve these issues for the future.

“I wish to advocate that the spirit of multilateralism must be invoked at all times when it comes to epidemics and pandemics…the injustice of Covid-19 should not feature in future calamities. The right to vaccines should be a right for all and not for a privileged few, leaving a major part of the world out of the health innovation journey,” said President Samia.

The Tanzanian leader asserted that leaving a major part of the world out of the health innovation journey reflects an injustice to humanity.

As such, the future of the health care sector requires improved health outcomes or innovations, therefore local innovators should be encouraged to develop their own sustainable paths to improve health outcomes.

President Samia noted that there was a need to increase evidence and informed guidance in policies and laws in middle income countries to strengthen health systems, while improving their receptiveness to innovations.

“It was thus a collective responsibility to design and implement innovation that will improve quality of health services according to the circumstances and make health care safer and affordable for the population,” she said.

She cited examples of health innovations that have demonstrated an impact to the population through the utilisation of rapid increase of mobile digital technologies in Tanzania including M-Mama mobile platform which connects pregnant women to mobile transport to safer health centers and the manufacturing of mobile incubators to facilitate referrals of neonates from one facility to another, the initiative has decreased neonatal deaths in one region.

“The next step is to scale up the innovation to the remaining regions of Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar…the two innovations have significantly served the lives of mothers and children,” she said.

Despite the achievement recorded, President Samia cited several challenges facing Tanzania and other Sub-Saharan Africa including lack of skilled human capital, infrastructure and funding to facilitate scaling of innovations among others.

She urged all the participants of the meeting to use the opportunity to seek ideas and discuss best ways, especially when innovation is focusing on addressing people’s needs and using local available resources to minimize cost and ensure sustainability.

She, however, noted that the focus is to invest in the young generation. The course will have a big impact in future, expressing Tanzania’s commitment to ensure innovation is a priority in health and development.

The Minister of Public Health of Qatar, Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, pointed to the need to invest and ensure that health systems are resilient globally in future public health emergencies.

“Pandemic do not respect borders, let’s work collectively to achieve global health resilience and make collective efforts to remove social determinants of health across borders,” noted Dr Al Kuwari.

For his part, the Executive Director of the Global Fund, Mr Peter Sands supported the fact that countries need to act smarter by serving lives now while building resilience to future threats.

Related Articles

Back to top button