Urgent changes are needed to steer the global pandemic response towards long-term sustainable control of COVID-19, improve health system resilience and preparedness

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New report from COVID Global Accountability Platform, with input from experts from low- and middle-income countries, recommends bottom-up country-led responses for a more equitable recovery, aiming to rapidly vaccinate 90% of those at risk

DURHAM, North Carolina, March 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — COVID Global Accountability Platform (COVID GAP), a partnership between duke university and COVID Collaborative, today released a report calling for an urgent shift in global pandemic strategy in light of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the availability of new treatments, and the humanitarian crises resulting from Russia invasion of Ukraine.

Written in consultation with nearly 50 leading health experts from low- and middle-income countries, A way forward calls for a rapid shift from emergency crisis management to a sustainable control strategy that also helps build resilient health systems that are better prepared to deal with future outbreaks of COVID-19 and other threats to health. public health. The report urges a commitment to bottom-up approaches whereby countries focus their efforts on protecting those most at risk and vulnerable, including healthcare workers and other essential workers. This commitment would include immediately prioritizing the vaccination of 90% of those most at risk, rather than the global goal of vaccinating 70% of the population, while ensuring equitable access to testing and treatment. The report was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, and while the virus does not discriminate, our strategies and response have,” said dr. Krishna Udayakumarfounding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center. “This report offers guidance on how to steer us towards a sustainable path – backed by a strong commitment to supporting country-driven goals and ensuring equitable access to all COVID-19 tools.”

The authors outline four priority actions to be supported by national leaders, health and development organizations, donors, civil society organizations and the private sector:

  1. Support country-driven goals that reflect local realities and priorities, with global support to enable countries to unlock the resources needed to achieve national goals;

  2. Refocus immunization goals to vaccinate 70% of all adults by summer to vaccinate 90% of those most at risk in each country;

  3. Provide equitable access to oral antivirals through testing and treatment capabilities built into “vaccination plus” strategies, as there is growing evidence that the durability of many current COVID-19 vaccines is limited;

  4. Increase local manufacturing capacities and production in low- and middle-income countries for vaccines, therapies, tests and other essential health tools – an important long-term commitment that must address access to intellectual property, technology and knowledge, human resources, strong supply chains and financial capital.

The report further notes the need for high-quality data at national and sub-national levels to drive accountability, as well as strong funding and better governance to enable a successful global response. The authors also highlight the importance of a flexible multilateral response that maximizes limited resources by addressing the highest priority needs first, including redirecting or reallocating funding between initiatives and organizations.

“We are still in the midst of a pandemic where inequity is the order of the day. Not everyone has benefited equally from the vital tools we have, including vaccines, treatments, kits and non-pharmaceutical testing,” said dr. Isaac AdewoleProfessor at the University of Ibadan and former Minister of Health, Nigeria. “Countries need to address health issues comprehensively and with urgent attention. There is no longer room for exceptionalism. We need to move quickly to long-term approaches to managing the pandemic with strategies that strengthen health systems National leaders need better access to resources to act This is exactly what the COVID GAP calls for in A way forward. The time to act is now.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected the world and has shown us that there is a lot to change in the world. We have to seize this moment, we have to start looking for the ‘way forward’ by applying this that we’ve learned to redirect our efforts globally to better prepare for what’s next,” said dr. Patricia Garciaprofessor at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and former Minister of Health, Peru. “We need to be more resilient, we need to work on the meaning and practice of the word ‘solidarity’ and we need to find ways to ensure equitable access to supplies, vaccines and medicines.”

“A post-Omicron global strategy should build on global successes, learn from failures and respond to dynamic conditions on the ground, as outlined in our report,” said Sir. Gary EdsonPresident of COVID Collaborative and former Deputy United States National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor. “The longer the time it takes to adapt to new realities, the greater the cost in lives, health and economic prosperity.”

“While COVID-19 ushered in a phase of unprecedented scientific achievement and progress, political failures and deep inequalities have prolonged the emergency,” said dr. Bruce Gelinhead of global public health strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation. “COVID GAP’s report puts the finger on the head: we need a flexible, bottom-up approach to tackling COVID-19 in this next phase. We are proud to support national collaborations like this to achieve our shared mission of bringing the pandemic under control and towards an eventual end. »

Bringing together diverse voices from around the world to collectively highlight the urgent actions needed to change the global pandemic strategy, COVID GAP and the Pandemic Action Network will co-host a public meeting on Tuesday 29 March with Africa CDC; African Center for Population and Health Research; Amref Health Africa; Andean Health Organization; Center of indonesia strategic development initiatives; College of Medicine, University of Ibadan; the ONE campaign; School of Public Health, Cayetano Heredia University; and WACI Health.

To register for the event, please click here.

About COVID GAP
The COVID Global Accountability Platform (COVID GAP), led by duke university and COVID Collaborative, aims to improve and accelerate the global response to the pandemic by serving as an independent source of actionable information and recommendations, convening key stakeholders to galvanize actions and collaborations, and enhancing transparency and accountability. responsibility. Learn more: https://COVID19gap.org.

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SOURCEThe Rockefeller Foundation

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