SEATTLE, Washington —The World Health Organization (WHO) has been stressing the fact that COVID-19 is unlike anything seen before. COVID-19 is a highly contagious, novel virus that spreads quickly. The COVID-19 pandemic has major social, economic and health ramifications and quick measures need to be taken to slow its transmission and mitigate its effects. With the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO’s global response to COVID-19 is paramount in combatting this virus.
By studying the results of the major outbreaks and response plans in China, the WHO was able to suggest to the global community the most effective measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. The WHO was mostly concerned about the global readiness for such a pandemic, particularly in countries that lack the tools and resources needed to optimally contain the virus. Timing is important in implementing measures to lessen COVID-19’s prevalence. The WHO noted that more lives would be saved with an early implementation of measures. The WHO implemented core strategies as part of its global response to COVID-19.
Furthering Research and Development
The WHO’s efforts to speed up research and development have accelerated the development of tests, treatments and potential vaccines. The WHO has sent 1.5 million test kits to 120 countries. It has also played a part in coordinating experiments for possible treatments and therapeutics. More than 100 countries joined the Solidarity Trial, which supports research and responses to COVID-19. The idea was that if countries could share research findings, the potential for a medical breakthrough would be much more likely.
Organizing the Global Response
For the first time, the 73rd World Health Assembly was held virtually. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. More than 130 countries co-sponsored it, the largest number ever recorded. The resolution produced at the assembly called for increasing efforts to control the pandemic by recognizing the importance of health technologies. In particular, the resolution focused on the distribution of these technologies to places that do not normally have access to them. Another issue discussed was the deepening socio-economic inequalities due to the pandemic, which could also have health consequences.
The WHO has a wide-range of global partnerships to help them work on the global response to COVID-19. For example, the WHO works with organizations that concern refugees, supply-chain issues, airline travel guidelines, businesses, health, jobs and the procurement of biomedical products. Since COVID-19 affects nearly all aspects of society, the WHO needs to collaborate with many kinds of global organizations.
The WHO has published more than 130 documents making suggestions for maintaining public health. This information is used by health workers, workplaces, schools and mass gatherings around the globe.
On May 13, 2020, the WHO launched the WHO Academy app and WHO Info app. The WHO created the WHO Academy app to give advice to health care workers and help them protect themselves. To keep the general public up-to-date with important developments concerning the virus, the WHO created the WHO Info app. The WHO recognizes that educating people about the virus is essential for them to protect themselves and others.
Additionally, the WHO has helped countries build their capacity to respond to the pandemic by providing 129 courses for COVID-19 in 39 languages. These courses are being continually added to and updated. The WHO’s global response to COVID-19 through education aids in coordinating a global response to it.
Donate to Support WHO
Donations received from the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund webpage go towards the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. This plan outlines the public health measures that the international community will provide to support all countries to prepare for and respond to COVID-19. By including nations that are in the greatest need, such as those with fewer resources, the WHO fights back against COVID-19 with a global response that is appropriate for a global problem.
– Mia McKnight