Project HOPE Joins WHO’s Call To Achieve Vaccine Access To Every Country Within Next 45 Days
Global health leaders call for vaccine equity for health workers, communities
Bethesda, MD (February 22, 2021) – In response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Vaccine Equity call to action, Project HOPE President and CEO Rabih Torbay signed the Vaccine Equity Declaration on behalf of Project HOPE and issued the following statement:
As we near 2.5 million deaths globally, and 500,000 in the U.S. alone, no one is safe until everyone is safe in this pandemic. The hardest hit and most vulnerable populations should be at the center of global vaccine deployment strategy, not sidelined.
Unhindered access to health care should be a human right, not a privilege in a world where individual or national wealth are deciding factors in whether we live or die. Out of all tragic lessons this pandemic has taught us, none is more glaring than disaster caused by disparity.
Vaccine equity is not only our moral imperative; it is a strategic necessity. While our global community is making progress against coronavirus, we won’t win without vaccine equity. Everyone’s health depends on anyone’s health at this crucial phase of COVID-19. Just as we see progress in some places, areas that were previously less affected see upticks or resurgences now.
Unity and equity are deciding factors in how many lives we save versus how many more will die from this global health catastrophe. Go-it-alone approaches that favor rich countries and leave behind poorer ones are as threatening as the virus itself.
No people are more at risk than frontline health workers: our essential first responders. All frontline health workers need protection, investment and support. While we take the symbolic step to sign WHO’s Vaccine Equity Declaration, our daily focus at Project HOPE is–and has always been–to scale solutions that put local health workers first in custom-fit ways for diverse cultures and communities. By making vaccine literacy, access and delivery the core of our pandemic response at this stage, we are building on 93,000 COVID-19 trainings delivered worldwide. We stand with WHO and allies and urge investments in COVAX and the ACT Accelerator to equitably distribute vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.
From the start of our response on the ground in Wuhan, we have emphasized: pandemics know no borders. Our global community can overcome this virus and its mutations. By investing locally on a global scale, we can win against the virus, community by community. In all our differences and diversity, equity must be our common goal. Our future depends on it.
Health Affairs, health policy journal and source of independent, peer-reviewed research and analysis. (Published by Project HOPE)
Current edition, Vital Directions, explores health equity issues, data, findings and solutions.
About Project HOPE:
Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian relief organization that is committed to placing power in the hands of local health care workers to save lives across the globe. Read more here.