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Good morning, this is Pokuaa and we kick off with major global health events including the long-awaited World Health Assembly, where we speak to experts on what to expect.

Approaching even sooner is the Global Health Summit to be held on Friday, however the excitement for the event is dying down as sightings of a draft document to be discussed shows a lack of commitment to tackling the pandemic. Meanwhile, big pharma are pledging to fight the pandemic by advancing Covid vaccine equity five steps at a time.

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Pokuaa Oduro-Bonsrah,

20.05.2021


Global health news


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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) delivers his statement, during the first day of the 72nd World Health Assembly, May 2019. (KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi)

⚕️🌍Anticipating World Health Assembly priorities. As the annual World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual ministerial assembly looms, delegates from 194 member states are tasked with pushing through a heavy agenda. Although time has been carved out over the eight day event to discuss matters of governance, funding and health priorities, it is clear the WHA will be dominated by how to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic as well as how to set up a robust global health system capable of responding to future health crises.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

💉😒Snubbing Covid vaccines waiver and watering down WHO funding pledge. Earlier this month the Biden administration joined South Africa and India to call for a temporary waiver of patents for Covid-19 vaccines, however as seen in a draft document due to be discussed at the Global Health Summit this Friday, there is no mention of the waiver. The document to be reviewed at the G20 event hosted by the Italian government also seems to have watered down the previous pledges for the vastly underfunded World Health Organization backed Covax equitable sharing scheme.

Reuters (EN)

🖐️⚖️ Big Pharma 5-Point plan to increase Covid vaccine equity. In a media statement issued by major pharma and biotech companies, such as Geneva-based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), a five-point commitment plan is laid out which hopes to advance Covid-19 vaccine equity. The focus will be on maximising production and sharing of doses.

Health Policy Watch (EN)

Here’s what else is happening


Image of the day


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Malawi's Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda, places the AstraZeneca Covif-19 vaccines in an incinerator, in Lilongwe, Malawi, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Jacob Nankhonya)

🔥 Let it burn. Health authorities in Malawi have incinerated nearly 20,000 doses of expired AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines. The government burned 19,610 shots making Malawi the first African country to publicly do this. The low uptake of the acquired vaccines have been due to fears about its safety. Originally the World Health Organization urged countries not to destroy expired doses but has since changed this advice.

BBC (EN)

Next on the agenda


📍 24 May – 1 June | Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly Held annually, this year’s theme “ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world,” will bring together 194 member states to discuss and set resolutions which aims to address the current pandemic, other health priorities and how to avoid future health crises.

World Health Organization (EN)

📍 24 May | Strengthening human rights to respond to pandemic threats Bringing together human rights activists and lawyers the webinar aims to provide an overview of human rights in global health, assess the social implications of Covid-19, and examine prospects for strengthening global health law and governance to face future pandemic threats.

International Commission of Jurists (EN)

Deep dive into International Geneva


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📅 Much has happened last month, and we're rounding it up. Check out our monthly newsletter coming out next week.

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