New Delhi: The Indian Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, affirmed that India's presidency over the Group of 20 (G20) provides a new platform to expose the concerns of the Global South.

In an address to the ministerial meeting of the BRICS Group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) that took place in the city of Durban, South Africa, Mandaviya assured that this position highlights the challenges faced by these nations and offers a valuable opportunity to address issues at the highest level of global governance.

Mandaviya praised South Africa’s initiatives to set the Universal Health Coverage agenda, which is aligned with India’s G20 priorities, including health emergency management, medical countermeasures and digital health innovations, which will contribute to Universal Health Coverage and improve the provision of health care services, he said.

The minister ratified India’s support for South Africa’s programs aimed at strengthening cooperation in the field of integrated early warning systems, since, as he noted, it will improve preparedness for future health crises, adding that such cooperation is essential in the design of effective interventions to contain the cross-border spread of diseases and to minimize the impact on the social and economic conditions of the BRICS member countries.

Mandaviya also welcomed Russia’s initiative for collaboration surrounding the Nuclear Medicine Group, and expressed his support for the establishment of an International Forum of Experts in this discipline. He said that cooperation in this field will encourage the exchange of knowledge and improve technological advances in the nations that make up the group.

Finally, he reiterated India’s continued commitment to the BRICS Tuberculosis Research Network program and acknowledged the progress made since its inception, considering that the network will strengthen the efforts of the Indian government to achieve its goal of ending by 2030 of the incidence of the disease in India.