WHO - World Health Organization

10/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2021 11:11

Through donors’ support, WHO coordinates movement of vital supplies for pandemic response and beyond

Paul Molinaro, WHO Chief of Office of Supplies and Logistics, at the WHO Logistics Hub in Dubai

"The only way we get through events like COVID-19 [as well as other major emergencies where support in the delivery of supplies is needed], is to share and collaborate," said Paul Molinaro, WHO's chief of the office of supplies and logistics, in a recent interview.

Beyond its leadership role in the COVAX Facility that has enabled the global roll-out of vaccination, WHO has also been working with partners in wider response efforts to the pandemic and other health emergencies, focusing on areas with fragile health systems and vulnerable communities. This involves coordination efforts, guided by a collaborative spirit to deliver assistance as well vital goods and equipment where they are needed most. With donors' strong support, WHO works through the complexities of logistics movement in order to prevent disease outbreaks, protect health workers, improve health systems, enable communities to withstand difficult circumstances and save lives.

2.5 million doses of polio vaccines to end the outbreak in Malaysia

State Health Department Sabah Health care worker equipped with personal protective equipment vaccinates a child in a school. 27 September 2021

The recently declared end to the polio outbreak in Malaysia was attributed to the 2.5 million doses of vaccines sent by WHO and managed by UNICEF. The outbreak resurfaced in December 2019 for the first time in almost 3 decades. This successful immunization campaign, reaching over 1 million children, resulted from the strong collaboration between WHO and UNICEF, the national government and state health agencies, health workers and vaccinators, non-governmental organizations and community volunteer groups, all working towards a shared goal of stopping the further spread of the disease.

IT equipment for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and surveillance

"This donation will be used to help with the continuous collection of data from COVID-19 patients and their vaccination status to track any possible side effects of vaccines and to track the number of cases," said Dr Selma Bermudez, Epidemiologist at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. 12 October 2021.

In Belize, WHO donated IT equipment and office supplies to strengthen surveillance and ensuring COVID-19 vaccine safety. This enabled the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital to set up a situation room for proper vaccine safety monitoring. As the project's hub, the hospital plays a key role, with its ability to detect and notify on disease signals and vaccination efforts through passive, stimulated or active surveillance.

WHO also facilitated Canada's donation of 1 000 digital tablets to support the scale-up of Ghana's e-registration system for COVID-19 vaccination at the various centres, and to help reduce delays in data entry.

Supporting the response with 8 million masks for care professionals and GeneX-pert machine modules

Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative in Egypt, receiving the donated masks from German Ambassador Frank Hartmann. 28 September 2021

Germany donated 7 million masks from its own stock, to medical facilities and health care workers across Egypt. Thanking WHO national staff for the logistics support, German Ambassador Frank Hartmann said: "Germany has been standing by Egypt's side since the beginning of the pandemic. I am happy that with the help of our partners from WHO and the Ministry of Health and Population, we can support our health workers who have been and are still working tirelessly on the frontlines every day."

This supply is just one part of Germany's support for Egypt in the fight against the pandemic. As the second biggest donor to ACT-A through the COVAX Facility (with over 4 million COVID-19 vaccines allocated for Egypt), Germany has expressed commitment to ensure fair, transparent and affordable access medicines and diagnostics around the globe, including the goal to protect frontline workers.

In addition, Germany has also supported WHO in providing 924 000 face masks and 11 GeneX-pert machine modules to Liberia's Ministry of Health. This will help ensure the availability of supplies and diagnostic equipment critical not only to the COVID-19 response but also to test other diseases like HIV.

PPEs and biomedical equipment in Eastern European countries, 8 October 2021

Thanks to EU funds, Armenia's Ministry of Health received 22 ventilators, as part of the ongoing EU-WHO efforts to support the country's health system in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Over the last year and a half, the European Union (EU) has supported WHO's COVID-19 response work in 6 countries in the European region through a €35 grant. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have received, in total, nearly 12 million units of protective equipment such as medical masks, goggles and isolation gowns; and at least 4 000 units of biomedical equipment, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators.

"While the pandemic has laid bare the shortcomings of health systems worldwide, it also highlighted what we can achieve through collaboration. This wide-ranging EU-WHO project has had a profound impact-lives were saved, and foundations built, for truly resilient health-care systems that can weather future public health emergencies," said Dr Hans Henri Kluge, WHO Europe Regional Director.

The grant has improved infection prevention and control across 370 health facilities, and supported the training of more than 6 000 health and front-line professionals to respond to the pandemic. It has also helped improve the proportion of hospitalized patients who recovered from COVID-19, and reduced infection rates among health-care workers.

Boosting diagnostic capacity at the National Influenza Centre, 3 October 2021

Also with support from Germany, WHO is strengthening national capacities for diagnostics in Iran's National Influenza Centre through state-of-the-art IT devices. The donated desktop computers, laptops, tablets and printers will help the Centre to scale up the country's ability for genome sequencing to analyse next-generation data and interpret results for better understanding of the circulating virus variants.

Transport and IT equipment for stronger surveillance, 8 October 2021

Meanwhile, the US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO/PAHO have provided emergency response equipment and supplies to support Jamaica's efforts. This included test kits, sampling and laboratory supplies, protective gear, and a mini-bus to transport rapid response and contact tracing teams around the country. The supplies also included communication equipment to optimize the work of contact tracers in communities. These are part of a US$ 1 million (J$ 147.3 million) CDC grant to strengthen the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Jamaica.

Ian Stein, PAHO/WHO Representative, said that this response and collaboration "is guided by the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, and the Health Emergency and Disaster Management Framework; so we are very pleased to continue implementing this through collaboration with our international partners."

Health workers as backbone of the pandemic response

"I have asked to be among the frontline health workers fighting against COVID-19. I want to serve humanity and this is the least I can do," says Monther Haider. 3 October 2021

Finally, with Yemen's conflict now entering its seventh year and causing displacement, overcrowding, and increased exposure to infectious and deadly diseases, including COVID-19, frontline health workers have been facing a disproportionately higher risk as they perform their work. Monther Haider, who has been on the frontlines of the pandemic response in the country, says, "it is emotionally tough to see patients who are fighting to live, especially when they are admitted in very critical condition and must have oxygen just to breathe. We try our best to keep them alive, until their condition is stabilized."

In response to the exacerbated needs in Yemen, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre has supported WHO in advancing infectious disease prevention measures and COVID-19 case management and in providing medicines and other essential medical supplies to 14 isolation units across the country. It has also provided personal protective equipment for the safety of health workers, their patients and families.

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No country can overcome this health crisis alone. The unprecedented scale of the pandemic, along with other health emergencies and humanitarian settings, has dramatically changed the way the world works. It has exacerbated existing inequalities and exposed the weakness of health systems. But this global health crisis has also led to greater opportunities for solidarity and collaboration between donors, Member States and WHO to accelerate live-saving efforts and to help countries build resilience against future health emergencies.

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Learn how WHO supports countries around the world in strengthening their health systems to deliver health for all through a primary health care approach.

Partners and donors recognized in this feature are the governments of Canada, Germany, Saudi Arabia (King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre), United States (US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)), and the European Union

WHO thanks all governments, organizations and individuals contributing to the COVID-19 response around the world since the beginning of the outbreak, and in particular those who have provided fully flexible contributions, to ensure a comprehensive fight against the disease.

Member States and other governments in 2021:

Australia, Belgium, Canada, Comoros, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malta, Mauritania, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States.

Other partners in 2021:

African Development Bank Group, African Reinsurance Corporation, Asian Development Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, China Medical Board, COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, European Commission (ECHO, NEAR, DG-INTPA, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Gavi-The Vaccine Alliance, International Development Association (IDA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Islamic Development Bank, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Kuwait Fund for Development, National Philanthropic Trust, Rockefeller Foundation, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Task Force for Global Health, United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA), Veolia Environment Foundation, Vital Strategies, United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), World Bank.

Read more about donors and partners contributing to the COVID-19 response

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