Fighting the good fight: WHO’s latest steps to stop COVID-19

Story – Team T

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently hosted a virtual press conference, involving media organisations from around the world.

He spoke about what the WHO was doing with partner countries to find a cure for COVID-19 – an important decision had been taken 10 days prior – and what all of us need to do until it is made available to all of us.

“Ten days ago, I joined President Emmanuel Macron, President Ursula von der Leyen and Melinda Gates to launch the ACT Accelerator, to support the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19.”

“Countries came together not only to pledge their financial support, but also to pledge their commitment to ensuring all people can access life-saving tools for COVID-19”

“Recent advances in science are enabling the world to move at incredible speed to develop these tools. But the true measure of success will not only be how fast we can develop safe and effective tools – it will be how equally we can distribute them.”

“None of us can accept a world in which some people are protected while others are not. Everybody should be protected. None of us are safe until all of us are safe.”

“This is an opportunity for the world to come together to confront a common threat, but also to forge a common future; a future in which all people enjoy the right to the highest attainable standard of health – and the products that deliver that right.”

“But one of the best tools is also one of the most basic: clean hands.”

“The simple act of cleaning hands can be the difference between life & death & remains one of the most important public health measures for protecting individuals, families & communities against COVID-19 and many other diseases.”

“Around the world, less than two-thirds of health care facilities are equipped with hand hygiene stations, and 3 billion people lack soap and water at home. This is an old problem that requires new and vastly increased attention.”

“If we are to stop COVID-19 or any other source of infection, and keep health workers safe, we must dramatically increase investments in soap, access to water, and alcohol-based hand rubs.”

“Several countries are now starting to ease so-called lockdown and stay home orders. But our common commitment to basic measures such as cleaning hands and physical distancing cannot be relaxed.”

“Nor can the commitment to the tools that are the foundation of the response: to find, isolate, test and care for every case, and trace every contact. And to ensure health systems have the capacity they need to provide safe and effective care for all.”