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Submitted: 06 Oct 2020
Revision: 30 Nov 2020
Accepted: 01 Dec 2020
ePublished: 07 Feb 2021
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Health Promot Perspect. 2021;11(1): 1-4.
doi: 10.34172/hpp.2021.01
  Abstract View: 97
  PDF Download: 79

Perspective

Global health diplomacy at the intersection of trade and health in the COVID-19 era

Vijay Kumar Chattu 1,2* ORCID logo, Shalini Pooransingh 3, Hamid Allahverdipour 4

1 Division of Occupational Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8, Canada
2 Institute of International Relations, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
3 Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
4 Department of Health Education and Promotion, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, 14711, Iran

Abstract

Global health diplomacy has gained significant importance and undoubtedly remained high on
the agendas of many nations, regional and global platforms amid the coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19) pandemic. Many countries have realized the importance of the health sector and
the value of a healthy workforce. However, there is little control on issues related to trade that
impact on human health due to the dominance of profit-oriented business lobbies. A balance,
however, needs to be struck between economic profits and a healthy global population. This
paper aimed to highlight the importance of building capacity in global health diplomacy,
especially during the COVID-19 pandemic so that health personnel may effectively negotiate
on the multisectoral stage to secure the resources they need. The recent proposal to waive off
certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement
for the prevention, containment and treatment of COVID-19 by India and South Africa at the
World Trade Organization (WTO) presents an important opportunity for all governments to
unite and stand up for public health, global solidarity, and equitable access at the international
level so that both developed and developing nations may enjoy improved health outcomes
related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Health, Diplomacy, Diet, Lifestyle, WHO, COVID-19, Health promotion, Noncommunicable diseases
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