Improving public health is one of the most important development goals. Environmental degradation, especially air, water and soil pollution from toxic chemicals, hazardous waste, radiation and other factors, is a growing concern. This environmental degradation, due to underdevelopment or misdirection of development, has a direct negative impact on public health. Malnutrition, poverty, impoverishment of human settlements, lack of good quality drinking water, and lack of adequate sanitation exacerbate the problems of the spread of infectious and non-communicable diseases. As a consequence, there is a growing threat to human health and well-being.
16.12. The main objective of the programme area is to ensure, through the environmentally sound application of biotechnology, that the overall health programme5
(a) Enhance or initiate (as a matter of priority) programs aimed at promoting the control of major infectious diseases;
(b) The promotion of general health at all ages;
(c) Developing and improving programs to support specialized treatment and protection against major non-communicable diseases
(d) Developing and strengthening appropriate safety procedures based on program area D, taking into account ethical considerations;
(e) Creating/enhancing opportunities for basic and applied research and leadership in interdisciplinary research.
(a) Management activities
16.13. Relevant government bodies, with the assistance of international and regional organizations, academic and scientific institutions, and the pharmaceutical industry, should, with due regard for safety and ethical considerations
(a) Develop national and international programs aimed at defining and identifying those segments of the world population most in need of improvement in general health status and protection against disease;
(b) Develop criteria to evaluate the effectiveness and the benefits and risks of proposed interventions;
(c) To develop and implement procedures for the selection, systematic screening and evaluation of medications and medical technologies in order to prevent the use of unsafe medications for experimental purposes; to ensure that medications and technologies relating to reproductive health are safe and effective and take into account ethical considerations
(d) To improve, systematically test and evaluate the quality of drinking water through appropriate specific measures, including the diagnosis of waterborne pathogens and contaminants;
(e) Develop and widely distribute new and improved vaccines against major infectious diseases that are effective and safe and offer protection with a minimum number of doses, including increased efforts to develop vaccines needed to combat common childhood diseases;
(f) Develop biodegradable vaccine delivery systems that eliminate the need for the current multiple-dose system, increase population coverage and reduce immunization costs
(g) Develop effective biocontrol agents for controlling vectors such as mosquitoes and their resistant varieties, taking into account environmental considerations;
(h) Using advances in modern biotechnology, develop, inter alia, better diagnostic methods, new drugs and more effective treatment methods and delivery systems;
(i) To develop improved and more efficient methods of using medicinal plants and other related sources of medicines;
(j) to explore ways of increasing the production of biotechnology materials to improve human health.
(b) Data and information
16.14. The following activities should be undertaken:
(a) Research to assess the comparative social, environmental, and financial costs and benefits of various technologies used in general and reproductive health, taking into account general safety and ethical considerations;
(b) Development of public education programmes for policy makers and the general public to increase understanding and awareness of the relative benefits and risks associated with modern biotechnology, taking into account ethical and cultural considerations.
(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination
16.15. Relevant government bodies, with the assistance of interested international and regional organizations, should:
(a) Develop and improve appropriate safety procedures based on program area D and taking into account ethical