Home Health & Food WHO report confirms global health achievements despite COVID-19 pandemic

WHO report confirms global health achievements despite COVID-19 pandemic

by James Davies


Lara Adejoro

A new World Health Organisation report has shown that the world recorded remarkable accomplishments despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report released ahead of the World Health Assembly next week details such accomplishments as the delivery of more than 1.4 billion vaccine doses via the COVAX facility, the recommendation for broad use of the world’s first malaria vaccine, and WHO’s response to some 87 health emergencies, including COVID-19.

During 2020-2021, WHO said it led the largest-ever global response to a health crisis, working with 1,600 technical and operational partners, and helped galvanise the biggest, fastest and most complex vaccination drive in history. 

The WHO also said that it spent US$1.7 billion on essential supplies for the COVID-19 response.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said, “Even as WHO has responded to the most severe global health crisis in a century, we have continued to support our Member States in addressing many other threats to health, despite squeezed budgets and disrupted services.

“As the world continues to respond to and recover from the pandemic in the years ahead, WHO’s priority is to invest even more resources for our work in countries, where it matters most,” he continued. “Ensuring WHO has sustainable, predictable and flexible financing is essential for fulfilling our mission to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”

WHO revealed that the ACT-A partnership delivered over 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by January 2022; the global rollout of crucial health materials included nearly US$500 million worth of personal protective equipment; US$ 187 million in oxygen supplies, US$4.8 million in treatments and 110 million diagnostic tests.

However, it noted that much remains to be done for the world to get on track for WHO’s target of each country vaccinating 70 per cent of its population by July 2022. 

The report reveals mandatory policies prohibiting the use of trans fatty acids (a hazardous food compound linked to cardiovascular disease), are in effect for 3.2 billion people in 58 countries. 

Among these countries, 40 have best practice policies, including Brazil, Peru, Singapore, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“Thanks to the implementation of measures mandated by WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, tobacco use is decreasing in 150 countries, saving lives and livelihoods. 

“Due to efforts to scale up life-saving interventions guided by WHO guidelines, 15 countries have achieved elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and/or syphilis. 

“And WHO’s recommendation of widespread use of the world’s first malaria vaccine has been delivered to over 1 million children. It is expected to save 40,000 to 80,000 lives a year when used with other malaria control interventions,” a statement by the world health body stated.

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