Responding to coronavirus globally with science and solidarity

March 3, 2020
by Joanne Carter, Executive Director


With coronavirus or any pandemic, we know it’s the communities facing poverty and already pushed to the margins that face the greatest risks. Viruses don’t discriminate, but people and policies too often do.

Whether it’s new emergencies like this one or ongoing emergencies like severe malnutrition, preventable child deaths, and tuberculosis – they require strong health care delivery systems, a respect for human rights, and an approach grounded in equity.

This is the latest global health challenge, not the last. Coronavirus is a sobering – and urgent – reminder that we need to increase investment in what we know works: strong international partnerships, building health care delivery systems that reach everyone, research and development, and an approach to care that prioritizes the most marginalized.

Alongside coronavirus, we see fear, prejudice, and xenophobia also spreading. Which means our response needs to not only focus on science, but on solidarity. Global health challenges aren’t solved through isolation: they’re solved through partnership.

When the world has come together to prioritize the health of everyone, we’ve seen what’s possible. Partnerships like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, save lives by bringing together the world’s resources to reach everyone. But as this new virus makes clear, we still have much more to do. Now is the time to be even more ambitious in our investment, our focus, and our commitment.

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