Tehran hosting G5 experts meeting on health cooperation

May 7, 2023 - 16:32

TEHRAN - The 26th G5 High-Level Experts Meeting on Health Cooperation and the 1st Healthcare Leadership and Governance Training Program opened on Saturday in Tehran and will wrap up on Wednesday.

G5 countries (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, plus the World Health Organization) have taken part in the meeting with the theme of “Joint Work for Solving Joint Health Problems.”

Addressing the opening ceremony, Health Minister Bahram Einollahi referred to the unity and cooperation of the countries in the fields of health, treatment, and medical education as a historical necessity.

Achieving, maintaining, and promoting health is never possible in a regional way and does not happen in an isolated region, but requires the cooperation of countries, especially neighboring countries, he stressed.

“To develop health in the countries of the group of five, we must look at health collectively and think about creating and promoting health in all countries.

The health sector of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan is tied to each other. Today, with the relations and cooperation that exist in different sectors between the countries and neighbors, a disease is capable of penetrating all countries.”

“Therefore, our unity and cooperation is a historical necessity so that the health indicators in the region can be improved and brought to the ideal point,” the minister reiterated.

He went on to say that conditions should be provided so that professors, students, and scientists can easily communicate with each other and travel to each other's countries without hindrance and hold joint scientific conferences.

“Many incidents have happened in the region, such as this year’s huge earthquake in Turkey and last year's flood in Pakistan, which unfortunately left many damages and deaths. These bitter incidents show the need for joint cooperation to help each other.”

Health is the common link of the countries of the region and it can cause the unity and development of the cooperation of the G5 countries and also a prelude to the development of the health economy, he added.

“Iran has achieved many successes in the field of knowledge-based companies and is able to provide 99 percent of its pharmaceutical needs and 40 percent of its advanced medical equipment needs.

So, the country can provide the G5 with its experiences.”

Einollahi pointed out that the group of five has an exceptional position due to being located in a strategic area, and the formation of this group can be a model for other countries.

One of the major problems of the G5 countries today is management in the field of health, which requires the creation of an up-to-date mechanism because management is the most important element in promoting health in the countries of the group of five.

“Unfortunately, in a situation where the death rate of infectious diseases has reached zero in developed countries, we are witnessing the high prevalence and death rate of these diseases in some countries of the region, which imposes a great cost on the countries of the group of five.”

“In order to prevent the spread and control of communicable diseases, we should have joint and strong cooperation, and Iran is sincerely ready to cooperate with the countries of the region in this field,” he concluded.

Iran initiated the establishment of the G5 in 2005 to promote subregional cooperation in health among the group of four countries – Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan – plus the World Health Organization as the fifth member of this group to provide technical support in improving this collaboration.

Several activities have already been taken under this initiative, with the Islamic Republic of Iran taking responsibility for serving as its secretariat.

The first subregional workshop for G5 countries on health system strengthening was hosted by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination of Pakistan on November 19–20, 2013 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Exchanging experiences on issues related to moving towards universal health coverage; developing national roadmaps and strategies for improving service delivery, population coverage, and financial risk protection; assisting each other in health workforce capacity development activities, health system research, national health accounts, and policy development; developing measurable indicators related to three dimensions of universal health coverage were among the goals of this two-day meeting.


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