What do diarrheal disease and COVID-19 have in common?
The challenge of protecting children from diarrhea has never been a lack of technology or know-how, but from inequitable access to lifesaving tools.
Inequity is often related to economics: whether it’s diarrhea or COVID-19, infectious disease always hits the poorest hardest. And in doing so, it further widens the gap.
Direct and indirect costs; such as time away from work, can be financially devastating for families already struggling to make ends meet.
Inequity is also racial: COVID-19 burden data are the latest chapter of long-standing racial disparities in health outcomes, including in diarrheal disease.
The nature of a pandemic reinforces the truth that we are only as resilient as the most vulnerable among us.
To right these wrongs, policymakers should target high-impact health interventions in the areas of highest disease burden. This way, everyone wins.
ONE WORLD PROTECTED
Only once COVID-19 vaccines are available to priority populations in all countries around the world will we bring the pandemic under control.
Several COVID-19 vaccine candidates are showing promising early results in clinical trials. But the international community must remember that our goal is two-fold:
- To produce a widely available, safe and effective vaccine and
- To bring the pandemic to an end.
That can happen only after billions of doses are produced affordably and made available to everyone; particularly those in low-income countries.
Every government has a responsibility to put its citizens first – and during a pandemic, this means thinking and acting globally.
If manufacturing agreements or export restrictions obstruct the deployment of vaccines and the virus survives anywhere; no one can be safe from the impact of the pandemic.
Taking a global, coordinated approach is essential – global health actors, manufacturers and research groups have to work together towards a common goal
“That when the first safe and effective vaccines emerge, the capacity exists to manufacture them, and the framework is already in place to make sure they are accessible to the most vulnerable all over the world”
Culled from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance