BERLIN — A coalition of global health organizations called upon the G20 to reinstate long-term health commitments and lead the fight against pandemics, drug-resistant strains, and critical poverty-related and neglected diseases. The ‘Call to Action’ was initiated this April in Berlin, at the G20 Global Health Innovation event.
The coalition includes TB Alliance, Medicines for Malaria Venture, PATH, Sabin Vaccine Institute, CARB-X, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the Global Health Technologies Coalition.
The G20 was created to promote cooperation between 20 major economies, collectively responsible for three-quarters of world trade. . The international forum works on a broad range of issues with the intention of building a global economy. The G20 specifically pursues action on climate change, political corruption, the current refugee crises and, most recently, healthcare.
On April 28, 2017, the coalition publicly urged the G20 health ministers to reinstate long-term health commitments in “pandemic preparedness,” and effective health technologies to counter antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and Poverty-Related and Neglected Diseases (PRNDs). The coalition believes that in order to achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, long-term investments and political commitment will be required.
The ‘Call to Action’ urges the G20 to perform the following actions:
- Establish political leadership to address the inter-related issues of AMR, pandemic preparedness and response and PRNDs.
- Expand financial support and coordinate across the G20 and partner countries to establish long-term funding for global health innovation while assuring that costs are equally shared.
- Encourage business, philanthropic organizations and other financing institutions from the G20 to increase investment in global health research and innovation.
- Marshal G20 public health and scientific expertise to address AMR in both neglected and major poverty diseases.
The ‘Call to Action’ stresses the need for global pandemic preparedness, citing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as an example of how unprepared the world remains when dealing with a widespread disease. Since December 2013, more than 28,646 cases have been documented with 11,323 fatalities.
The coalition is also concerned about AMR: the proliferation of strains resistant to pharmaceutical drugs, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The World Bank released a report that examines the “economic and development consequences” of AMR, highlighting the long-term health commitments required to counter this increasingly global issue. Economic growth will be greatly affected by AMR, resulting in an exponential increase in global poverty. The report’s “high-AMR scenario” estimates that by 2050, AMR will force 28.3 million people into extreme poverty and will increase global healthcare costs by $1.2 trillion.
– Madison O’Connell