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ICYMI: G20 and World Health Assembly leaders support efforts to defeat COVID-19

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on the health of communities and global economies, government leaders at the G20 and World Health Assembly discussed various approaches to controlling the spread of COVID-19 through science-based solutions. Both meetings encouraged efforts to increase global cooperation and foster an innovation ecosystem that allows for the ongoing research and development of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA73) resumed session, which was held virtually in November, focused on the importance of global support and collaboration, and facilitated discussions to chart an effective strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. At a first slimmed-down session in May, member states adopted a landmark resolution, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, to unite the world and intensify efforts to ensure equitable and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to defeat the virus.

During WHA73, the discussion expanded to cover pressing public health issues not related to the pandemic. This included a 10-year plan to address neglected tropical diseases, efforts to combat meningitis, various neurological disorders and maternal, infant and young child nutrition. Leaders also addressed digital health and its application to public health emergencies, as well as the intellectual property protections that incentivize urgently needed investment in biomedical R&D.

Although some countries and cities throughout MENA are already working to curtail COVID-19 transmission through comprehensive, evidence-based approaches, there is more work to be done. Coupling ongoing global and regional collaboration with strong intellectual property protections will ensure continued biopharmaceutical innovation and accelerate the development of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

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Global Investments in Science and Innovation were Resilient during COVID-19

A new report, Global Innovation Index 2022, from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates that research and development (R&D) investments thrived at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and continued to boom in 2021. This spike in innovation occurred despite the global recession and economic lockdowns in many countries, pointing to the importance of innovation for pandemic solutions and recovery.

Partnerships Are Bringing Lifesaving Treatments To The Middle East And North Africa

As the world prepares for future public health threats to emerge, it’s imperative public and private sector leaders are collaborating to address these challenges with innovative treatments and solutions.

Opportunities for Progress

Explore policy-related opportunities for governments, health officials and companies operating in the MENA health sector.

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