Bangladesh has called for a temporary waiver of certain Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the production of vaccines, medicines and other health technologies to effectively respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The demand was strongly made in the 74th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) held virtually in Geneva from May 24 to June 1.
A Bangladesh delegation, led by Health Minister Zahid Maleque, in direct collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva attended the assembly, said the Bangladesh Permanent Mission in Geneva on Friday.
Bangladesh told the WHA that the pharmaceutical industries across the developing countries, including Bangladesh, capable of producing vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and other medical equipment should get licenses as well as technology and technical know-how to produce the vaccines and health technologies for Covid-19 and those items should be provided to other developing countries free of cost.
At the assembly, it also highlighted the leading role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a co-chair of the ‘One Health Global Leaders’ Group on Antimicrobial Resistance’ and emphasised the need for raising global awareness about tackling antimicrobial resistance. In addition, Bangladesh called for paying due attention to the need to promote mental health across the globe and ensure sustainable funding for a strong World Health Organization (WHO), said the permanent mission.
Mustafizur Rahman, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Bangladesh to the UN Office in Geneva, delivered two joint statements on mental health and antimicrobial resistance on behalf of WHO’s Southeast Asian region consisting of 11 countries, including Bangladesh.
In addition to the 74th WHA, two important meetings of the WHO Executive Board (EB) and the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee (PBAC) also took place.
Bangladesh participated in the meetings as an elected member of both EB and PBAC. Health Minister Zahid Maleque was the rapporteur for the EB session while Ambassador Rahman served as the vice-chair of Committee-B of the 74th WHA.
A total of 35 resolutions and decisions on various issues related to health were adopted by the WHA.