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The Action Thread Part Two

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COVID-19

None of us are safe until all of us are safe

24 May 2020 6:21PM UTC | By: GAYLE SMITH

SIGN THE PETITION

Demand a Global Response to Coronavirus

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Gayle Smith is the president and CEO of ONE. We interviewed Gayle as part of our #PassTheMic series.

Here’s some of what she had to say.

Coronavirus is currently running faster than we are — which means it’s winning. So we’ve got to outpace it. We need to tackle the pandemic everywhere. At the very least that means knitting together national strategies, sharing information and expertise, and operating in sync.

The other thing we need to think about globally is the economic impact. Every country on the planet is feeling the economic shocks from this pandemic — the primary shocks of the health crisis itself, but also the secondary shocks, such as supply chains breaking and other disruptions. So we need solutions.

We need enough capital in the market, and we must have a way to tackle the needs of people who may be unable to work and protect those who must work. We need ways to rebuild, because this pandemic is doing a lot of damage.

We also need to consider global health security. Not every country has the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to coronavirus, so we’ve got to build that.

If you’re collaborating, it doesn’t feel as insurmountable

Even when you think you’re up against the greatest odds, if you find that you’re collaborating with others, the odds don’t feel quite as insurmountable.

As we’ve seen with communities and people all over the world, solidarity is one of the most moving outcomes of this crisis.

I think countries and world leaders would find if they coordinated and shared information, strategized, and knocked out plans, it would reduce the burden that each is feeling in terms of managing the crisis. I would also say it’s the right thing to do. As we’ve seen with communities and people all over the world, solidarity is one of the most moving outcomes of this crisis.

None of us are safe until all of us are safe, and if this virus is moving around unchecked in certain parts of the world, then all parts of the world are vulnerable.

One of the best examples of what can be done together is on the vaccine front. Here’s what could happen: a vaccine could be developed in a country and we could see wealthier countries buy it all up very quickly.

That would be a gross injustice to probably billions of people on the planet, but that would also be silly, because if you just vaccinate a subset of the world’s population, you’ve still got the virus spreading around.

So now the world has the opportunity — and I would argue the obligation — to plan and be prepared for how we are going to make sure we’ve got manufacturing costs covered and the distribution of a vaccine globally, as soon as it becomes available.

Protecting those who are worst affected

Our main priority for a global response needs to be first and foremost defeating the virus. That means taking care of people. It means testing, contact tracing, and social distancing where possible.

But it also means taking care of the people who are the worst affected. In a crisis like this, the virus hits hardest at the people and the countries that are least able to withstand it. So, whether you’re in the United States and it’s the rising numbers of people who are joining the numbers of the unemployed, whether it’s people who are running out of work or don’t have the cash to buy food. Or if you’re talking about the other side of the globe, where many people work in the informal sector, there’s the same pressures.

You’ve got to meet those emergency needs of citizens.

The world is not yet united in this fight

If we have a really good response to the virus in some countries, but not others, then the virus is still winning.

Maybe you have a response to people in need in some countries and not others; then poverty and disenfranchisement is on the rise. Maybe some economies are bolstered, and others aren’t; then you’ve got a global economy that is still a mess.

What keeps me up at night is that the world is not yet united in its fight against this pandemic.

What gives me cause for hope is that citizens all over the world are educating themselves.

However, what gives me cause for hope is that citizens all over the world are educating themselves. They are taking matters into their own hands where they can. Whether it’s trying to prevent the spread of the virus, helping other people, or deepening their own knowledge.

I think that citizens all over the world are going to demand better out of this.

These excerpts from the interview were edited for length and clarity.

Hear more from experts in our #PassTheMic campaign, where global health experts take over celebrities’ social media channels to share the data, facts, and science we need to know to end COVID-19. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more.

Demand a Global Response to Coronavirus

People all over the world are standing in solidarity with each other to fight coronavirus, but the virus keeps moving fast.

The pandemic will inevitably wreak its worst on the communities and countries that are least able to withstand the shock. Let’s stand with the most vulnerable whether they live across the street or across the ocean.

We are one world and it’s time to fight for humanity against the virus. Sign our petition telling governments that a global pandemic demands a global response.


Dear World Leaders,

The world needs a Pandemic Response Plan to:

  • Protect the vulnerable, support essential workers, and make a vaccine available to everyone
  • Support people worst hit economically
  • Strengthen health systems so we’re ready if this happens again

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“Even when you think you’re up against the greatest odds, if you find that you’re collaborating with others, the odds don’t feel quite as insurmountable.” - Gayle Smith, President and CEO of ONE.

Today actor David Oyelowo will join our #PassTheMic campaign and donate his social media accounts to Gayle to discuss why none of us are safe until all of us are safe from the threat of #COVID19. Sign up and call for action to protect everyone everywhere now. #ONEWorld https://go.one.org/2Zk80Cr
 
 
 
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"We're seeing leaders step up and say 'None of us are safe until all of us are safe.'" – Serah Makka Ugbaba, ONE's Nigeria Director

Watch the full discussion on how African countries are being affected by #COVID19 here: bit.ly/2WYyoPs

 

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#PASSTHEMIC

If we’re left alone to fight this, I don’t think we stand a chance

23 May 2020 10:31PM UTC | By: DR. ISAAC OLUFADEWA

SIGN THE PETITION

Demand a Global Response to Coronavirus

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Dr. Isaac Olufadewa is the executive director of the Slum and Rural Health Initiative Network in Nigeria. We interviewed Dr. Olufadewa as part of our #PassTheMic series.

Here’s some of what he had to say.

Here in Africa not only do we have the coronavirus crisis, we also have health systems that are really struggling.

Looking at some of the problems we are facing right now, one of the things that we are really battling against is misinformation and fake news. So without tackling these issues, people won’t go to receive services even if they are free. That’s why I have been really involved with providing accurate healthcare information and translating it into local languages.

Then when it comes to African governments themselves, many don’t have access to equipment, testing facilities, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

What’s needed now and what can’t be forgotten

In addition, increasing the testing capabilities of African countries is really important. In Nigeria, we currently have less than 15,000 coronavirus tests being done, even though we have a population of 200 million people. Whereas South Africa has done over 250,000 tests. So while Nigeria claims to have about 2,500 coronavirus cases, we know it is really more than that.

We also need more supplies for physicians on the front lines. Because without PPE, masks, and gloves, the hospitals will become transmitters of these diseases. The state where I live has the biggest hospital in Nigeria, and 60% of cases right now in my area are being traced to that hospital. So that is a big concern.

Another thing that is being affected during this time of disruption is the chain of other healthcare services.

Another thing that is being affected during this time of disruption is the chain of other healthcare services. For example, we don’t have HIV services running during this lockdown period. I also worry about reproductive health, routine child vaccinations, and healthcare services for women.

We really need to ensure that these services are up and running. Otherwise we will probably lose more people as a result of neglecting these than from the coronavirus crisis itself.

Countries cannot fight this alone

I believe a coordinated response is really needed right now. Countries cannot be left alone to fight this. If Nigeria is left alone to fight this, I don’t think we stand a chance. That’s the truth of the situation.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has already highlighted the lack of PPE, bed space, and isolation centres we face. We know that most of these cost money, so there is definitely a need for economic relief or some kind of stimulus package for countries.

It’s also very hard for slum communities in Nigeria and other parts of Africa to follow the physical distancing being recommended. We cannot really talk about what hygiene and sanitation look like when people don’t even have running water. How can we protect street children begging? What about the level of illiteracy in Nigeria?

I just can’t really imagine the virus getting to the slums, which are really crammed, overcrowded places. That worries me.

We as individuals need to hold the government accountable for their plans going forward.

So we as individuals need to hold the government accountable for their plans going forward. Unfortunately, the government has already started relaxing the lockdowns in Nigeria, because people were pressuring them.

There’s also a need for us to ask where the money that’s being donated to fight COVID-19 is being spent. For example, we need to be saying: “We know that you received $24 million from the World Health Organisation, or this amount from a philanthropist, so how have you spent this money?”

We need action, not just talk

Overall, I would say I’m optimistic about the level of concern for Africa. I recently signed an open letter to the United Nations calling for a global equity task force. I’ve also seen messages from other countries, acknowledging our weak healthcare systems and the need to do something about them.

I’m learning that people want to tackle this problem and that gives me some level of hope.

I’ve also been reading research articles and one which really resonated with me said: “Let’s not repeat the mistakes we made during the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” In sub-Saharan Africa, when the rest of the world has moved on, they are still battling with HIV/AIDS. So, I’m learning that people want to tackle this problem and that gives me some level of hope.

However, on the other hand, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk, but what has been done? We will be hearing about the creation of the global equity task force to ensure that there is equitable access to healthcare during COVID-19, but what has been done to put this in place?

We definitely need to see action, not just talk.

These excerpts from the interview were edited for length and clarity.

Hear more from experts in our #PassTheMic campaign, where global health experts take over celebrities’ social media channels to share the data, facts, and science we need to know to end COVID-19. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more.

Demand a Global Response to Coronavirus

People all over the world are standing in solidarity with each other to fight coronavirus, but the virus keeps moving fast.

The pandemic will inevitably wreak its worst on the communities and countries that are least able to withstand the shock. Let’s stand with the most vulnerable whether they live across the street or across the ocean.

We are one world and it’s time to fight for humanity against the virus. Sign our petition telling governments that a global pandemic demands a global response.


Dear World Leaders,

The world needs a Pandemic Response Plan to:

  • Protect the vulnerable, support essential workers, and make a vaccine available to everyone
  • Support people worst hit economically
  • Strengthen health systems so we’re ready if this happens again

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“We need to mitigate against a second strike – it’s more important than the economics, education, and everything else we need to do – because if we don't control it, we could get another massive spike.” - David Anderson, frontline nurse and Director of Quality and Infection Prevention and Control at Nightingale hospital Manchester (nhs.uk) treating #COVID19 patients.

Today, for our #PassTheMic campaign 🎤 actor Alan Cumming donates his social media channels to David, who answers questions on why a global response is vital to avoid a second spike in the fight against #COVID19. Sign up and call for action to protect everyone, everywhere now. #ONEWorld https://go.one.org/2Zk80Cr
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We’re so thankful to Hugh Jackman for letting President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf take over his social media accounts for the day to talk about the much-needed global response to the #COVID19 pandemic.

On today’s #PassTheMic, read more from President Johnson-Sirleaf on COVID-19 including why “effective and collaborative action” is needed.

Remember to add your name to the petition and come together in solidarity for #ONEWorld https://go.one.org/3d7exUV

 

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Foto de ONE.

“The predictions if we do not have a coordinated global response to COVID-19 are quite clear: We will have a recurring virus.” - Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Today actor Hugh Jackman handed over his social media channels to #PassTheMic to President Johnson-Sirleaf - who discussed why strengthening healthcare systems around the world and having a coordinated global response to #COVID19 are important.
Demand action now to protect everyone, everywhere. #ONEWorld https://go.one.org/2Zk80Cr

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