India believes there is an urgent need for carrying out "major reforms" in the World Health Organization to ensure a timely, focused and effective response to potential future pandemics, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a meeting of the health ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries through video-conference, he said the global crisis arising out of COVID-19 pandemic is further compounded by ever-evolving new variants of the virus, and highlighted the need for greater collaboration between countries on various aspects of health to defeat it, a Health Ministry statement said.
"Therefore, it is desirable that we should continue to exchange our experiences, learnings, best practices as well as innovations to strengthen our public health systems," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
He said India is working extensively to increase core capacities to manage the present situation and ensure long-term interventions for mitigating any such future crisis.
The minister added, "India - like many other countries - believes that there is an urgent need for carrying out major reforms in the World Health Organisation so that we can ensure timely, focused and effective responses for potential future pandemics."