Jan. 30, 2021


Tomorrow marks one year since I declared a public health emergency of international concern over the outbreak of novel coronavirus – the highest level of alarm under international law.
There is now the real danger that the very tools that could help to end the pandemic – vaccines – may exacerbate those same inequalities. My message to governments is to vaccinate your health workers and older people, and share excess doses with COVAX, so other countries can do the same.
This week we have released two products to close gaps in care and improve health outcomes globally. The first is the Essential Diagnostics List, a basket of diagnostics that WHO recommends should be available at point-of-care and in laboratories to improve timely and life-saving diagnosis. The second product is a new 10-year plan for neglected tropical diseases – a set of 20 illnesses that affect more than a billion people, most of them poor.