Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2023. 1:13 pm CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard addressed the United Nations General Assembly and emphasized the importance of building resilient health systems.
“Belize stands firmly in support of universal health coverage, which encompasses access to essential health services, medicines, and vaccines for all. We must redouble our efforts to ensure that pandemic response measures, including the development, production, and distribution of vaccines, are guided by principles of equity and solidarity. Vaccine nationalism and the inequitable distribution of life-saving resources only perpetuate the cycle of vulnerability and deepen global divisions,” Bernard said.
In addition, the Minister of Health and Wellness noted that building resilient health systems is pivotal in pandemic preparedness.
“Belize advocates for increased investment in healthcare infrastructure, health workforce capacity, and health emergency preparedness. This entails strengthening primary healthcare services, prioritizing health workforce training, and bolstering supply chains for essential medical supplies. We must also address the social determinants of health, such as poverty, inequality, and climate change, which exacerbate the impact of pandemics on vulnerable populations,” he added.
Minister Bernard further added that Belize emphasizes the importance of promoting accurate, science-based information to combat misinformation and disinformation.
“As we look to the future, Belize urges the international community to enhance financial and technical support to strengthen the capacities of developing nations in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. We call for the establishment of a comprehensive global financing mechanism to ensure sustained funding for pandemic-related initiatives, with a focus on supporting the most vulnerable countries,” Bernard reiterated.
In closing, Minister Bernard reaffirmed Belize’s commitment to global solidarity and cooperation in pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
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