Muscat: The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), took part in the high-level meeting of the Helsinki Policy Forum, headed by Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family Affairs and Social services in Finland via video conference.
The meeting discussed measures to be taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic and additional preparations needed to thwart future waves.
The Sultanate was represented by Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health. A number of ministers of health from the European, Gulf and Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) attended the meeting.
In his speech, Al Saidi stressed that the world is facing an unprecedented health crisis and this pandemic can only be curbed with foolproof preparations. There should be no distinction between private and public sector healthcare facilities during any pandemic, he added.
In addition, the Minister of Health added that we should have a well-established and dynamic global response plan based on the engagement of all stakeholders. It should clearly designate the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance, the health minister added.
Dr Al Saidi assured the need to delink public health from politics by prioritising transparency. Countries should share epidemiological risks and assessment data timely, and share information on contact tracing, he added.
Moreover, Al Saidi indicated that rich countries should support poor nations for universal health to ensure equitable access to the vaccine.
The Minister of Health stressed the necessity to establish high-technology research centres for vaccine development in every part of the world.