Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- At the Dushanbe SCO summit held on 17 September, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his speech outlined priority tasks to increase the effectiveness of cooperation between the member states of the Organization in the field of public health.
In particular, the head of our state noted that the pandemic has shown the urgent need for closer cooperation between the SCO states in this area.
In this regard, Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced a very relevant initiative to develop and adopt a "roadmap" for establishing partnerships between leading medical centers of the SCO member states in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, post-ovarian rehabilitation, and mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.
Within the framework of this "road map", the following practical steps of joint cooperation are considered promising:
First, the development and adoption of measures to develop SCO cooperation in the field of health care in the medium term. The relevance of this is due to the increasing need to build the capacity of the national health systems of the SCO states in the context of a pandemic.
Taking into account the experience gained during the epidemiological crisis in the health sector, it is planned to envisage measures for the implementation of an agreed policy for the prevention of the most common infectious diseases, the training of medical scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel, the maintenance of a system for monitoring and early response to emergency situations of a sanitary and epidemiological nature, identification, localization and prevention of the spread of new epidemics.
The practical implementation of these measures will make it possible to more actively develop the interaction of the SCO countries in the field of health protection and maintaining the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population.
Secondly, the establishment of cooperation between the SCO member states in the field of research, development and production of medicines and vaccines.
In the context of a pandemic, the issues of providing the population with medicines have become much more acute. Some of the SCO member states are faced with the problem of a shortage of medicines and medical equipment, which arose for various reasons: from restrictive measures to a shortage of raw materials or their high cost.
In this regard, cooperation of the pharmacological industries of the SCO member states is needed on research and production of popular drugs and vaccines, mainly intended for the prevention and treatment of dangerous diseases.
Today, countries such as China, India and Russia are some of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world. The share of Indian and Chinese companies in the global pharmaceutical market grew from 2007 to 2020 from 6.5% to almost 10%.
At the same time, the Central Asian countries of the SCO have unique conditions for the production of medicinal raw materials, as well as finished medicines and vaccines.
In this regard, within the framework of the proposal of the President of Uzbekistan, it is possible to envisage issues of cooperation in the development and testing of new medicines and vaccines, the organization of joint production, since in one country the raw materials for production may be cheaper and more accessible, and in another, industrial capacities will be less energy-intensive.
Moreover, within the framework of this cooperation, it is advisable to carry out mutual supplies of herbal medicinal raw materials growing in the territory of the SCO member states, other natural and synthetic components for the production of drugs, as well as finished medical products.
Thirdly, the adoption of the procedure for mutual recognition of certificates of vaccination against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Currently, all SCO countries are actively vaccinating citizens against COVID-19, issuing national certificates and QR codes confirming the vaccination. Meanwhile, the procedure for recognizing these certificates between the SCO countries has not yet been worked out, which hinders our ties.
In this regard, the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates will facilitate the cross-border movement of citizens vaccinated against COVID-19, will restore tourist flows, and resume family and business trips.
Given the projected long-term nature of the fight against coronavirus infections, most of the SCO countries are interested in developing and adopting this procedure.
In the process of implementing the proposal, it is planned to launch a unified information system for the recognition of test results and vaccination certificates, create a digital certificate that will allow citizens to travel freely throughout the SCO countries.
The practical implementation of these tasks will allow to revive the trade, economic and tourism sectors of the countries. This will also have a positive impact on the intensification of cooperation and interaction of the SCO member states in other areas.
In general, the initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan voiced at the SCO summit will completely restart cooperation in the field of public health within the Organization, focusing it on solving specific problems that have arisen with the emergence of COVID-19.
It is symbolic that in 2022 Uzbekistan will take over the chairmanship of the SCO. In this regard, the Uzbek side is actively preparing to work in this status. Tashkent intends to lay further foundations for the development of the SCO in the new decade. At the same time, one of the main priorities of Uzbekistan will be the issues of maintaining the health and well-being of the population of the SCO member states in the context of the ongoing epidemiological crisis.
Institute for Strategic and interregional studies
under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan