Dec 4, 2020, 9:05 AM
Journalist ID: 1843
News Code: 84134353
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Minister: Sanctions targeting Iran's medicine, medical equipment sectors

New York, Dec 4, IRNA – Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki said unilateral sanctions have been targeting Iran's medicine and medical equipment needed by the nation.

In a statement delivered to the online session of the High-level Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Response to COVID-19 Pandemic, held in New York 3-4 December 2020, he first appreciated "the United Nations to hold High-Level Special Session in response to COVID-19 Pandemic to share experience and to demonstrate the utmost high level commitment to curb the disease which strongly hit the globe during the last 11 months."

The Minister then noted that "Since the beginning of the outbreak in Iran, according to the 'Whole of Government, Whole of Society' approach, the National Committee to Manage COVID-19 was established under the chairmanship of president Rohani, fully supported by Supreme Leader, to utilize all capacities at national level, to monitor the disease, and to endorse strict public health measures to curb the disease.

Accordingly, our strong PHC Network was not only the core of three rounds of screening through Electronic Health Records, but we managed to sustain Essential Health Services to ensure maternal and child care, immunization, Tuberculosis and HIV case management are provided, and, as a pioneer in NCDs management, to continue health services for chronic patients and mitigating risk factors.

The Government, despite all restrictions due to unlawful and unilateral sanctions, has provided special financial packages for the poor and marginalized population; has done economic support measures especially for small businesses; and implemented testing and treatment coverage programs for 3.5 million legal and illegal Afghan immigrants. We have taken additional environmental health measures at our borders with neighboring countries according to IHR-2005, which requires substantial support by Member States to maintain normal trade."

He also said that "Covid-19 pandemic swept the world severely, providing many lessons to be learned nationally, regionally and globally, which demonstrated unpreparedness of the Global Community to deal with a Pandemic. Global preparedness and emergency response must be at the forefront of the agenda of governments and international agencies for decades to come. Leadership, solidarity, inter-sectoral collaboration, evidence-based interventions and coordination between countries are the tools needed to manage Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, we need to strengthen the IT infrastructure to provide more reliable data, tele-medicine and tele-education in the new era. I would like to emphasize the vital importance of global solidarity and international cooperation, with full support to the WHO, as the unique platform for Global Health activities, to overcome this pandemic. Timely, cost-effective and equitable access of all nations to diagnostic, medical equipment, medicines and vaccines are crucial, with no discrimination, sanction or unjustifiable prioritization, as the Secretary-General has rightly pointed out."

Namaki added: "The unilateral coercive measures imposed by the Governemnt of United States have negatively affected the process of combating the Pandemic in my country. Unilateral illegal measures, hampers easy access of the people to basic medical items and requirements and thus endangers health of the Iranian citizens. Medicines supply and health commodities have been targeted through tight restrictions of foreign exchange resources even for these humanitarian issues.

This Pandemic reminds us how much we need integrity, solidarity and collaboration, at local, regional, and global levels. While we are committed to the UNGA resolutions and political declarations on UHC, NCDs and communicable diseases such as TB, there is a need to re-visit the targets, financing and approaches as a response to the pandemic, which hit the health infra-structures, health work force and the economies. I call upon international financial organizations to provide substantial financial supports to Member States regardless political impediments."

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