Global Health has been an important working group in the past C20 summits, reflecting the realities of today. This year, as the focus shifts from vaccination, the working group would be focusing on issues of mental health, elderly care, nutrition and a holistic approach to healthcare.
Nothing brought out the inequities and inequalities in the global order as the pandemic. COVID-19 accelerated already dormant mental health issues to epidemic proportions worldwide, manifested as rising substance abuse, marital discord, social media and internet addiction, and so forth. Mental health has traditionally been neglected in lower-income-countries due to a multitude of reasons including: a shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists in the public health system, stigma associated with mental health issues, neglect of mental health from mainstream care, etc. A comprehensive platform encompassing community and educational institutional based screening in addition to hospital-based care is the need of the hour.
COVID-19 has also greatly exaggerated existing vulnerabilities in most societies and family structures. Undernutrition evident in poorer sections of society is manifest most in pregnant mothers with far reaching transgenerational consequences. Nutritional imbalance and excessive intake of energy together with a sedentary lifestyle has created a global epidemic of obesity with a host of adverse consequences. It is critical to revisit this problem and deliberate on how to increase awareness and capacity about nutrition and health care at the household level.
Ancient medical traditions have always treated the mind and body as an integrated unit. Modern medicine now acknowledges the necessity of integrated approaches and recognizes the role of traditional medicine. As the home of one of these ancient traditions, and now the host of the C20, the India-led panel will explore ways to bring an integrated approach both as a lifestyle change and as a strategy that Governments can use to bring quality health care to the doorsteps of individuals, reducing reliance on institutionalized health care.
Delving into these three aspects, the working group would aim to widen the discussions on different aspects of SDG3 on ‘Good Health and Well Being’. The discussions would bring forth mental health and various other healthcare professionals, understand lessons from the recently established WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM) in India and also discuss how digital health can be a part of the larger narrative on global and holistic health.
International Coordinators: Dr. Sarthak Das, Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance ([email protected]); Dr. Krish Ramachandran, Harvard Medical School ([email protected]); Ms. Andy Carmone, Clinton Health Access Initiative, USA ([email protected])