People’s Vaccine Alliance and Oxfam statement to World Health Assembly
people’s vaccine alliance and Oxfam statement to World Health Assembly
Release date: 24 May 2023
Remarks from Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Policy Co-Lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance, at the 2023 World Health Assembly on behalf of Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance
Thank you I speak on behalf of Oxfam and the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 NGOs, experts, activists, and people interested in health equity. Preventing, preparing for, and managing health crises and achieving UHC has never been more important. Five key points to raise:
1. The most equitable publicly funded health systems, with no financial barriers, are best able to protect people’s health in time of emergency and peace.
2. Pandemics start and end in communities. Governments’ engagement with communities is critical. Surveillance, information, and acceptance of vaccines depend on the trust of the community, with Community Health Workers who must be well-trained and adequately remunerated.
3. Universal Access to medical products is essential for public health.
4. Sustained access to medical products requires investment in collaborative R&D, manufacturing capacity in the south, sharing technology, and removing IP barriers.
5. The accord, the revised IHR, and the High-Level Meetings declarations must recognize that over 70% of health workers are women, that pandemics and outbreaks put the burden of care mainly on women, and that violence against women increased during COVID-19. A gender lens is necessary.
Finally, this all depends on governments’ political will and not another global public-private partnership. We must be honest and recognise that globally created new bodies failed to deliver equitable access. Relying on the voluntary good will of pharmaceutical companies is not a sound public health policy.
A recording is available on the People’s Vaccine Alliance Twitter.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact: [email protected]