I spent part of this weekend participating in the RESULTS International Conference.
The conference was originally planned for Washington, D.C., but as with so many other plans, the pandemic forced a change of venue. I’m not sure I would have been able to go if travel had been involved, so I saw this as an opportunity to participate I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Today, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, spoke to us about how we can all have a role in shaping the future, especially when it comes to global health. Many of his comments (especially “COVID politics should be quarantined”) pertained to the pandemic, but they also apply to global health more broadly.
Here’s the 4-step action plan he recommends:
Continue advocating for more investment
There are a variety of types of investment that can make a difference for global health. Examples include the World Health Organization itself. President Trump has said he intends to withdraw US funding from the WHO, although it remains to be seen exactly how that will play out. Other organizations that make a difference include The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Misinformation is confusing at a minimum and could cost people their lives at the worst extreme. Learn more from this Columbia Journalism Review article, which outlines why misinformation is so dangerous. Learn more about taking an active role in combating misinformation here (I am signed up and looking forward to the next steps).
Support accelerated innovation
The WHO has a research and development blueprint that has been activated to try to speed a reliable remedy for helping people recover from (and keep from being infected with) COVID-19. Learn more here.
Advocate for national unity and global solidarity
The 800+ RESULTS advocates were not all in the same room for Dr. Ghebreyesus’ speech, but in my head (and heart), I feel like every one of us stood up and cheered when he said this, perhaps not literally, but the sentiment was there.
Dr. Ghebreyesus went on to say, referring back to the potential of the US withdrawing funding from WHO, “It’s not the money. It’s the relationship with the US that matters, as it can lead to more money. When the US is generous, it gives hope to others. When others are safe, the US is safe.
I appreciate the opportunity to hear Dr. Ghebreyesus speak. The last thing he said was that number four (about the solidarity) should be number one.
I agree, and I’m ready to do my part! If you want to learn more about RESULTS, please visit this link.
I’m linking up with the Kat Bouska prompt to write about “Something someone said recently that made you think.”