- An estimated 18 million people have died due to covid pandemic as per various credible sources.
- Over 120 million individuals have been driven to extreme poverty and hunger and no institute or government has been able to address the issue explicitly or efficiently therefore, there is a dire need for a global treaty or support for a new pandemic treaty.
Background of the Treaty proposal
- Six to eight weeks after the PHEIC directive, nations, except for Asia, did not take the requisite protection.
- Likewise, when global leaders vowed €7.4 billion ($8.07 billion) in a digital fundraiser for devising a coronavirus vaccine and treatments, the United States did not send any rep.
- Therefore, inequality has also been extending the duration of the pandemic.
- And, it is against this ground that the creation of a Global Pandemic Treaty was presented at the Special Session of the World Health Assembly (WHASS).
- The underlying logic was that as global administration had failed during the pandemic, we required political commitment to mitigate prospective challenges.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the monkeypox outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) with over 32,000 cases from over 80 countries (August 2022), the world faces the risk of another health crisis.
- The present era needs a supportive, qualitative and quantitative grouping or associations which should be self-efficient to comprehend the global need during any future pandemic and provide high-level resolution to all-round aspects of any nation.
Widespread health unjustness
- Healthcare Capacity: Healthcare systems have been pushed beyond their capability and gross health inequity has been surveyed in the issuance of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics across the globe.
- Socio-Economic effect: While high income economies are still recovering from the aftermaths, the socioeconomic effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic are irreversible in common and low-middle income lands.
- Pharma Sector Dominance: The monopolies held by pharma majors such as Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna made at least nine new billionaires since the inception of the COVID19 pandemic and made over $1,000 a second in earnings, even as more infrequent of their vaccines reached individuals in low-income nations.
- Vaccine distribution Prejudice: As of March 2022, only 3% of individuals in low income nations had been vaccinated with at least one dose, corresponding to 60.18% in high income nations.
- The international target to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population against COVID19 by mid 2022 was skipped because poorer nations were at the “back of the queue” when vaccines were rolled out.
India’s lead role
- India’s reaction to the COVID19 pandemic and reinstating global equity by leveraging its prospect has placed a model for lawmakers globally.
- India produces about 60% of the world’s vaccines and is said to account for 60%-80% of the United Nations’ annual vaccine procurement “vaccine diplomacy” or “Vaccine Maitri” with a dedication to health unjustness.
- India was undefeated in its resolution to resume the freight of vaccines and other diagnostics actually when it was undergoing a vaccine deficiency for domestic usage.
- There was only a short course of weeks during the zenith of the second wave in India when the vaccine mission was discontinued.
- As of 2021, India shipped 594.35 lakh doses of ‘Made in India’ COVID19 vaccines to 72 countries a classic example of global cooperation.
- Among these, 81.25 lakh doses were gifts, 339.67 lakh doses were commercially dispersed and 173.43 lakh doses were supplied via the Covax programme under the backing of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Revelations and Way Forward
- In the COVID19 pandemic, we have seen a mass of initiatives to address the pandemic and to do sufficiently in the future such as the Vaccine Alliance.
- These are all useful, but a treaty under the umbrella of WHO would, as emphasised by the journal BMJ, build coherence and dodge fragmentation.
- Thus, such a treaty should protect paramount aspects such as data sharing and genome sequencing of emerging viruses.
- It should formally perpetrate governments and parliaments to execute an early warning system and suitably sponsored rapid comeback means.
- Additionally, it should muster nation-states to decide on a set of standard metrics that are correlated to health acquisitions and retrieval of those investments.
- These investments should strive to lower the public private sector cleft.
- Ultimately, a global pandemic treaty will not only lower socio-economic inequalities across nation states but also improve global pandemic readiness for prospective health crises.
With the inculcation of any such global treaty where various countries can contribute significantly in terms of socio-economic development of the globe in case of any upcoming pandemic. This treaty and partnership can enhance the multitasking of the nation.