War Against COVID-19: WHO Director-General calls for joint effort and solidarity at all levels

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks at a press conference after the WHO emergency committee's meeting on the novel coronavirus in China at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan. 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Qu)
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has underscored the need for joint effort and solidarity at all levels in order to win the war against COVID-19 pandemic.

“No one can face this pandemic alone. It takes a joint effort and solidarity at all levels, ” he stressed.

He participated in the webinar “International Cooperation amid Pandemic: joint solutions for public health”, promoted by the Brazil Africa Institute.

Also in the dialogue were Jaouad Mahjour, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean; Olive Shisana, Social Policy Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Africa; Jorge Chediek, Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC); and Roberto Cláudio, Mayor of Fortaleza (Brazil). The meeting was moderated by Professor João Bosco Monte, President of the Instituto Brasil África.

During the webinar, which lasted about 1 hour and had an audience from several countries, participants talked about the impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has left on public health systems and economies around the world. The importance of solidarity between nations was one of the main topics of discussion.

Tedros insisted that investment in public health systems is essential to make them prepared for situations like this. “No country was ready, not even developed ones.

Internal investments are needed to prepare us for the future, especially in developing nations. Investments in public health are necessary ”, he pointed out.

Stressing the importance of global solidarity, Shisana said that the South African government’s quick measures, such as the lockdown and the closing of the borders “helped to flatten the curve. But the support of Cuban doctors, with all their experience, has been fundamental for us and for other countries that have also received it ”.

Chediek, on the other hand, highlights that many nations have taken the lead in sharing good practices, especially in the scope of south-south cooperation.

“UNOSSC is mobilizing and connecting partners across sectors to enable countries to quickly access relevant information, assess unique demands, compare practices, and learn from one another through South-South and triangular exchanges. We must not retreat to protectionism. All countries, in all circumstances, can share creative solutions”, he explained.

The mayor of Fortaleza, Roberto Cláudio, sustained that this is a moment of valorization of scientific research and that countries need integrative leaders to fight the virus. “We are learning as we are living.

That is why it is important to guide our decisions based on science. Otherwise, there is no way to carry out public policies ”.

Concluding the meeting, Professor João Bosco Monte stated that “we must maintain the idea of solidarity in our actions. If we walk together, we can go further. We need to work together to be prepared for tomorrow ”.

The webinar is available on the Brazil Africa Institute’s YouTube channel and can be accessed through the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyo1tjS0Ut0

About the Brazil Africa Institute

The Brazil Africa Institute (IBRAF) is a non-profit organization that aims to promote international cooperation and engagement between Brazil and the African continent, defending the economic development of countries, the convergence of private sector interests, and the enhancement of multilateral relations. It is responsible for holding the Brazil Africa Forum, one of the largest cooperation events between Brazil and the African continent: https://forumbrazilafrica.com/. IBRAF is headquartered in Fortaleza, Brazil, and Accra, Ghana.

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