WHO continues to fight pandemic amid worsening global public health emergency and uneven vaccine deployment
“We are living in a worsening public health emergency that further threatens lives, livelihoods and a healthy global economic recovery. It is certainly worse in places where there are very few vaccines, but the pandemic does not ‘is nowhere over,’ said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom. Ghebreyesus at a WHO press conference this week.
Despite these growing challenges, WHO continues its response to COVID-19 in countries around the world with the support of partners and donors.
Zambia: WHO donates supplies to bolster COVID-19 response to pandemic supported by African Development Bank
Delivery of supplies to Zambia. Published by WHO / AFRO in July 2021.
WHO and the African Development Bank recently delivered a donation of COVID-19 supplies to Zambia worth around US $ 1 million to support the country’s response to the pandemic. The donation included personal protective equipment, ventilators, laboratory reagents and test kits. It was made possible through the support provided to the WHO country office by the African Development Bank in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Zambia is among the African countries reporting an increase in new cases and deaths.
Ghana: World Bank support strengthens clinical management of COVID-19
A laboratory technician in Ghana. Published by WHO / AFRO in July 2021. ©WHO / Blink Media / Nana Kofi Acquah.
The World Bank, through the Pandemic Emergency Financing Mechanism (PEF), recently provided funds to WHO to strengthen the capacity of Ghana’s health system to respond to COVID-19. As a result, treatment facilities in all 16 regions of Ghana have received essential medical supplies such as oxygen concentrators, patient monitors, arterial blood gas analyzers and more. Some 360 multidisciplinary health workers have also been trained to effectively manage COVID-19 patients in isolation, in treatment centers and at home. Thanks to funding from the World Bank, a greater proportion of patients infected with COVID-19 who require intensive care and respiratory assistance have a better chance of survival.
Africa: Learning from the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccination campaign in Rwanda. Published by WHO / AFRO in July 2021. © WHO / Andre Rugema.
Exemplary mass vaccination stations in Angola, to the complex logistics of the cold chain in Rwanda and communication models to build confidence in vaccines in Ghana, WHO documents key lessons learned from the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa.
The Vaccine Learning Program team is building a dynamic database of valuable information for African countries. The team carrying out case studies on a range positive vaccine experiences and overcome risks and challenges. So far, eight African countries have shared their knowledge and best practices at the regional level.
The beneficial lessons so far have covered early planning, delivery, digital platforms, and risk communication strategies.
Nigeria: Vaccinate refugees and leave no one behind
A nurse prepares the COVID-19 vaccine. Published by WHO / AFRO in July 2021. ©WHO / Blink Media / Nana Kofi Acquah.
Internally displaced people in the Adagom refugee community in Cross River State have recently received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of Nigeria’s commitment to leaving no one behind, including vulnerable populations. Doses were distributed through Nigeria’s COVAX allocation.
Afghanistan: Improving COVID-19 testing with EU support – an investment in health
Regional Reference Laboratory of Herat. Published by WHO / EMRO in July 2021.
Afghanistan is currently grappling with a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases across the country. In response to assembly needs, the delegation of the European Union (EU) in Kabul donated 15 million euros to support WHO’s efforts to fight against and mitigate the health and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
While the ongoing vaccination program has brought new hope, testing remains a key tool in detecting and containing cases, especially with the emergence of new variants. With EU funding, WHO has helped the Ministry of Public Health establish 12 new COVID-19 testing laboratories and train 68 laboratory technicians, among other response activities.
EU funding also supports WHO’s efforts to scale up Afghanistan’s epidemiological surveillance and its ability to rapidly detect and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and other future health emergencies.
Investing in labs will have long-term benefits beyond COVID-19, as they will help improve access to health care at the provincial level.
Lebanon: WHO helps Lebanon rebuild a storage facility destroyed by the explosion with support from Japan and Kuwait.
As the main international agency supporting the health system in Lebanon, WHO, together with its partners, is overseeing the complete reconstruction of the central drug warehouse of the Ministry of Public Health, which was destroyed in the explosion of port of August 4. The project is funded by WHO, Japan and Kuwait.
The plan calls for the complete reconstruction of two warehouses, more than doubling the previous storage capacity. Over US $ 2 million has been provided to complete the project.
Belize: WHO and Canada donate oxygen equipment
Receipt of the shipment. Published by WHO / PAHO in July 2021.
The WHO Regional Office for the Americas and the Government of Canada recently donated 25 portable pulse oximeters at the COVID-19 unit at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize. The unit is the only public facility in the country to provide intensive care services to COVID-19 patients.
The donation is part of PAHO’s ongoing technical support to facilitate monitoring of oxygen saturation in patients admitted to the COVID-19 focused unit.
Viet Nam: 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States via the COVAX facility
Published by the WHO office in Viet Nam in July 2021. ©WHO Viet Nam / Loan Tran
Viet Nam recently received more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated to the COVAX facility by the United States government. The recent shipment is one of 80 million doses of vaccine that the President of the United States pledged in May from the country’s vaccine supply, of which around 41 million doses are being shared through COVAX to meet global needs. The COVAX Center is co-led by WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI), GAVI – the Vaccine Alliance, and UNICEF as a key delivery partner.
Learn more about the WHO’s response to COVID-19 around the world.
Without the support of donors and partners, WHO would not be able to reach these needy countries and help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO thanks all governments, organizations and individuals contributing to the COVID-19 response around the world since the start of the epidemic, and in particular those who have provided fully flexible contributions, to ensure a comprehensive fight against the disease.
Member States and other governments in 2021:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malta, Mauritania, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States.
Other partners in 2021:
African Development Bank Group, African Reinsurance Company, Asian Development Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, China Medical Board, COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, European Commission, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Gavi- The Vaccine Alliance, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Islamic Development Bank, National Philanthropic Trust, Rockefeller Foundation, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Global Health Task Force, Central Response Fund Emergency Department (CERF), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Fund United Nations for Population (UNFPA), Veolia Environnement Foundation, Vital Strategies, WHO Regional Office for the Americas, World Bank.
Learn more about donors and partners contributing to the COVID-19 response
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