Snapshot of the discussions on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic
Are we learning from COVID?
Tackling deadly diseases in Africa convened global public health leaders at the World Health Summit in Berlin (26 Oct 2021) to discuss this critical question and reflect on how we bridge aspiration and reality in global health security. The event was chaired by Jeffrey Mecaskey FFPH, TDDA’s team leader.
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Inaugural Director of the World Health Organization's Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, speaking on the role of national public health institutions:
"Our response in the last few years has not been appropriate. We’ve always dealt with this in our silos...There are a lot of things we have to re-think globally".
“We need to think: How do we make the best use of the resources we have at the moment, that then takes us to the better future that we all hope to get to?”
“Our chance of preventing the next pandemic from spreading is about ensuring we have the local response capacity”.
“There is no public health without the support of communities”.
Prof. Dr. Pascale Allotey, Director of United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, speaking on Reframing Colonialism - Equity & Social Justice in Health Security:
“The architecture of global health largely operates within a highly colonial,
inequitable, charity-type framing, which is dis-empowering...The conversation on
de-colonization of global health is a very uncomfortable one but it’s an important one that needs to be had”.
“The lesson is that disaster is an incredible catalyst. Big changes can be pushed through as everyone recognizes that things need to be done, and they need to be done fast”.
"The right formula for engagement in global health and development is not clear…It can only become clearer with better and more respectful engagement, a great deal of listening and significant co-creation".
Raji Tajudeen, MD, MPH, Head of Public Health Institutes and Research Division, Africa CDC, speaking about the urgent concerns and future priorities for pandemic preparedness in Africa.
“We know that vaccines are one of the major ways for us to come out of this pandemic. Today, less than 6% of the continent has been immunized. We all know what to do: ensure equitable and affordable supply of vaccines in Africa”.
“We have seen the way the COVID-19 pandemic has played out… We have found ourselves at the back of the queue… There will be needless, avoidable loss of life”.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need for a whole-of-society approach”.