WHO 148 Executive Board Statement – COVID-19 response

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We stand with WHO and Member States in a comprehensive and coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the start of the outbreak, our  Federation has coordinated member efforts to support response to the pandemic. Responsible self-care is crucial to ease the burden on overstretched hospitals and health systems, ensuring that vulnerable individuals have access to urgent care. We fully support a complementary approach combining formal healthcare with self-care interventions.

Our members are taking numerous measures to support a range of interventions through protective equipment, over-the-counter medication, and diagnostics. This enables individuals, families and communities to promote and maintain health. Our industry members are working to secure continuity of supply for essential medicines and vaccines, urging governments to implement policies that facilitate access for those in need.

We reaffirm commitment as an essential partner, in terms of investing in medicines and medical products and pursuing approaches to expand access, equal and fair distribution globally.

A well-coordinated, inclusive and multi-stakeholder approach is crucial to ending Covid-19. This collaborative response must include individuals, governments, national regulators, health care professionals, academia, and the industry. We welcome public-private partnerships as an effective means to defeat the pandemic and its consequences, including exchanging information, scientific knowledge and best practice.

We strongly call on WHO to align work with other international organisations and to meaningfully engage the healthcare industry in realizing the potential of self-care in response to Covid-19. We call on Member States to recognize the benefits of self-care for health, fostering an ecosystem which robustly assesses outcomes. We look forward to continuing a constructive and inclusive debate on self-care.