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PATH at the 77th UN General Assembly: applying COVID-19 lessons to strengthen health equity and security

September 8, 2022 by PATH

As the world continues to respond to and build back from COVID-19, PATH joins world leaders in New York at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly to reflect on pandemic response to date and commit to building back and building better health systems to withstand future health crises.

A view of the flags outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

A view of the flags outside the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas.

PATH is joining leaders from around the world for the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) happening in New York City on 13-27 September 2022.

“The world is at a key junction between emergency response and future pandemic preparedness. Now is the time to process the lessons learned from COVID-19 and chart a course for a more sustainable and equitable approach to global health.”
— Heather Ignatius, managing director of PATH Policy & External Affairs

Here are two key issues PATH will be following.

A strong case for investing in a sustainable manufacturing ecosystem across Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare what stakeholders across Africa have long known: severe shortages in lifesaving medical products result from relying on the Global North and Asia as the primary suppliers. The lack of local manufacturing capacity has been a driver of extreme global disparities in access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, and devices.

The pandemic has made it increasingly clear that strengthening health security across Africa, and the world, will require long-term investments to fortify the manufacturing ecosystem and enhance supply security across Africa and low-income countries around the world.

Establishing a properly regulated and sustainable market for medical and health goods is an opportunity to strengthen economic growth and improve health outcomes. Doing so would eliminate Africa’s dependency on external markets and help ensure goods are more accessible and affordable. Manufacturing within the continent would also provide potential for robust markets and job creation and help build trust in vaccines and medical products.

Read more:

Achieving universal health coverage and health system resilience through people-centered primary health care

Resilient, primary health care (PHC) systems that put people first are the world’s best defense against health threats like COVID-19, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change—and our best chance of achieving universal health coverage. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered global health progress, magnified barriers to essential health services, and deepened health inequities, it’s also created a once in an opportunity to advance a truly impactful approach to primary health care.

To accomplish this, we must:

  • Strengthen the resiliency of health systems to prepare for and respond to future health threats.
  • Invest in subnational health systems to meet people where they are, including geographically.
  • Strengthen digital health systems to make better health decisions.
  • Prioritize self-care solutions that meet individual and community needs.

As world leaders are gather in New York, the final decisions are being made about a new fund to finance pandemic preparedness and response. This Financial Intermediary Fund will fill a key gap in the architecture for global health, bringing necessary resources to strengthen health systems and countries' ability to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks and ultimately strengthen primary care.

Read more:

PATH at UNGA

PATH experts will participate in key events where they will share and discuss these and other important topics. Some highlights of PATH’s participation in the global event include:

  • Investing in African Health Security: Prioritizing local manufacturing as a catalyst for health equity | PATH event cohosted with the African Union and Foreign Policy. The panel of experts from the public and private sectors, international organizations, and civil society will pinpoint key challenges and illuminate how varying stakeholders can work together to address chronic inequities and strengthen regional health security in Africa.
    • September 20, 5:00-6:30 PM EDT.
    • Seating for this event is limited. If you would like to request to receive an invitation, please send an email to events@path.org. This event will be recorded for those unable to attend in person.

  • Countdown to 2030 High-Level Meeting on UHC: Reception for PHC & UHC advocates | Join PATH, Allies Improving PHC, Communities at the Heart of UHC, Living Goods, and the UHC2030 Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for an informal reception to generate collective excitement and momentum one year out from the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on UHC. Food and drinks provided
    • September 20, 6:30-8:30 PM EDT | 75 Rockefeller Plaza

  • Unlocking the potential for collective impact | There has been a universal call for greater collective action in pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Yet, how do we know if our collective efforts are leading to collective impact? What metrics should be used? How do we demonstrate results? Can we clearly link cause and effect? This panel discussion will explore models of measuring collective impact and share experiences and insights from six years of collective action tackling NCDs.
    • September 22, 6:00-7:00 PM EDT | Harvard Club of New York City
    • Hosted in partnership with PATH. The event will conclude with a cocktail reception.