GHC submits statement on matters considered by the Executive Board at the 73rd World Health Assembly

November 09, 2020

Global Health Council notes:

COVID-19 demonstrates that Universal Health Coverage in every community must be the top priority. Increased investment in all seven Global Action Plan accelerators must focus on community health systems so that tests and vaccinations can succeed. Community resilience, sharing best practices, sustainable financing, easy accessible community health centers and health workers must all be supported.

We call upon WHO to support countries to implement comprehensive initiatives to achieve universal health care (UHC), and for Member States to invest in research and development of new tools and prioritize primary health care (PHC) as the foundation for achieving UHC.

Further, we commend the progress made towards global immunization targets. Despite these efforts, coverage of essential vaccines has only increased from 84 to 86 percent from 2010 to 2018, leaving nearly 20 million children un-vaccinated every year. Vaccines are an essential prevention tool. Member States must invest in vaccine technologies and increased capacity building for the uptake of innovation within national programs. We support recommendations that place countries at the center of strategy development and urge measurable, global targets while allowing national and regional disease surveillance to inform recommendations for prevention of other infections.

Lastly, we urge Member States to adopt the global strategy for TB research and call on them to close the $1.3 billion funding gap for TB R&D annually. New investments coupled with efficient technology assessment and evaluation of new TB products will be vital to building the arsenal of tools required to detect, prevent, and treat TB. New tools must be affordable, acceptable, and accessible to the people who need them most, as new treatments still remain out of reach for too many patients.

We commend the WHO for working towards solving all of these issues and stand ready to assist as a community of advocates and technical experts.