WHO launches global initiative to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 tools

DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 24, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) today, launched a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

A group of healthcare actors, private sector partners and other stakeholders have joined forces to launch the ‘Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator’.

During his media briefing today, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic has been met with an unprecedented global response.

WHO DG

WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

He explained that since January, the WHO has been working with thousands of researchers across the globe to step up and track vaccine development; from developing animal models to clinical trial designs, and everything in between.

“We have also developed diagnostics that are being used all over the world, and we’re coordinating a global trial on the safety and efficacy of four therapeutics against COVID-19. The world needs these tools, and it needs them fast,” the Director-General noted.

It was explained that the ACT Accelerator unites the combined power of several organisations to with speed and scale.

“Each of us is doing great work, but we cannot work alone. We’re coming together to work in new ways to identify challenges and solutions together.” Dr. Ghebreyesus said.

Through the ACT Accelerator, the stakeholders have committed to:

    • an unprecedented level of partnership
    • proactively engage, align and coordinate efforts,
    • build on existing collaborations,
    • collectively devise solutions, and
    • ground partnership in transparency and science.

The significant amount of crucial work, investment and initiatives already ongoing around the world to expedite the development and deployment of innovative COVID-19 related products and interventions were also recognised.

Dr. Ghebreyesus noted that in the past, even when tools were available, they have not been equally accessible to all, and “that cannot be allowed to happen.”

This global initiative, the Director-General said, is a shared commitment is to ensure all people have access to all the tools to defeat COVID-19.

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