Healthcare, the US and the EU united but also in solidarity?

Healthcare, the US and the EU united but also in solidarity?

Europe and America allied for health, in particular for a common strategy against cancer and the risks of new epidemics in the future. This is the aim of the health “action team” between the European Union and the United States, launched in recent days in Brussels, after a meeting between European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and US Minister Xavier Becerra. The agreement also provides for closer cooperation to improve the “global health architecture” and a joint commitment to the ongoing negotiations at the level of the World Health Organization, in light of a global agreement against epidemic emergencies, to be concluded successfully within the expected deadline. In May 2024. Indeed, an agreement of this kind, which includes two large developed and democratic regions of the planet, with the availability of significant scientific and financial resources, can and should also benefit other peoples who are not directly involved. Provided that the national selfishness and economic interests at stake do not condition concrete choices, preventing stated good intentions from being followed by coherent behaviour, as has unfortunately so much happened during the Covid-19 storm. The joint announcement announcing the creation of the working group points to some specific goals of great interest in the field of oncology. In particular, prevention and assistance in cases of pediatric and juvenile cancer and lung cancer. The aim is to facilitate joint learning of new discoveries, exchange of best practices and launch of joint research also at the international level. Both the EU and the US are already implementing plans to fight cancer, and now the working group has appointed two joint groups of experts to work on developing an effective collaboration. Other important areas of collaboration include avian influenza, Marburg disease (a very severe form of hemorrhagic fever), and antimicrobial resistance. For potential future epidemics, the ambition is above all to create secure supply chains, avoiding bottlenecks and exaggerated forms of competition between affected countries. But also by reducing dependence on third countries, which can tailor supplies to their own geopolitical goals (see China). The same applies to the development and implementation of vaccination programs in new emergencies. On this point, the two partners hope that stable global procedures will be established within the framework of the World Health Organization, for universal access to the necessary medical countermeasures in the event of health alarms. There is talk of building a real “bedrock” to prevent and deal with future viruses. And the so-called “Pandemic Fund”, which was officially promoted by the World Bank last November in Bali, in the context of the G20, should also form part of this pillar. Last February, the first $300 million was allocated to fund initiatives to support the most disadvantaged countries and those least able to manage acute health crises. The facts will show whether the “concrete steps” promised by the European Union and the United States, in the field of international solidarity, will actually be taken. So that we forget the “bad practices” in the era of Covid, when billions of doses of vaccines were promised to poor countries that have yet to be delivered. Also because new virus alerts coming out of China tell us that an emergency is always lurking. © Copyrighted Reproduction

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