MMV submits statement to 73rd World Health Assembly

Statement focuses on continued need to preserve and scale-up efforts to protect those at risk from infectious diseases like malaria

19 May 2020

COVID-19 is having a devastating impact globally. This is likely to become worse in resource-poor settings due to the fragility of healthcare systems and for vulnerable populations due to the potential de-prioritization of their health needs.

Equally worrying is the risk for compromising access to life-saving prevention tools and treatments for major poverty-related diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. This has already materialized in some settings due to supply chain disruptions, prioritized manufacturing of COVID-19-related commodities at the expense of those for other diseases and changing national health priorities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and epidemics of poverty-related, infectious diseases are unfolding side by side, and need a robust integrated response from the global health community to:

  • Maintain health services central to the effective prevention and control of major poverty-related diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, particularly at the community level;
  • Ensure continued production, supply and affordability of diagnostic tests, preventive measures and treatments for these diseases;
  • Strongly support research and development capacity, including re-purposing of existing tools for the fight against COVID-19, along with the discovery and development of innovative tools that will be crucial for a sustained, aligned response to this deadly virus and to the persisting challenges of major poverty-related diseases.

Through its long-standing collaboration with WHO, other product-development partnerships (PDPs) and bilateral programmes of Member States, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) remains fully committed to contributing its extensive skills, capabilities and networks, openly and wholeheartedly, to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control, while preserving and scaling-up efforts to protect those most at risk from the disastrous impact of malaria.