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Understanding COVID-19

PATH Live Forum

PATH is pleased to announce a series of conversations tackling key issues around the novel coronavirus outbreak.

As SARS-CoV-2 spreads around the world, PATH is hard at work to lessen its impact. Our global team is partnering with governments to establish emergency operations centers; advising on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak; and standing up digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance.

While there are still many questions about this novel virus, some answers are starting to come to light. Through a series of live, virtual conversations, we'll share what we know right now about the virus, and more about what our teams are doing to control it. We’ll save plenty of time for your questions, too.

Previous forum: Strengthening health system resilience during a crisis: Is it possible? | June 30, 2020

As the world responds to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, solutions are being quickly implemented to solve for the here and now. But health systems must support efforts beyond the pandemic. In this live forum, we explored how thoughtful investments made today can be leveraged not only to respond to COVID-19, but also to mitigate the worst-case scenarios of secondary deaths and morbidity and to lay a foundation for more resilient health systems that are better prepared to withstand future stressors.


  • Martin Alilio, Senior Advisor, Office of Health Systems, USAID
  • Lucy Gilson, Head of the Division of Health Policy and Systems, University of Cape Town School of Public Health and Family Medicine
  • Youssoupha Ndiaye, Director for Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Health and Social Action, Senegal
  • Evelyne Oruko, Nurse in Charge at Migosi Sub-county Hospital, Kisumu County, Kenya
  • Jessica Shearer, Deputy Director for Health Systems Innovation and Delivery, PATH (Moderator)

Previous forum: Remembering pandemics | June 25, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, it is changing our conversations about public health, about equity, about social and economic structures and norms. But we cannot forget that globally, we have endured similar hardships before.

In this PATH Live Forum, we looked back in history to consider lessons from a century ago when the 1918 influenza pandemic devastated the United States. Professor Nancy K. Bristow, author of American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, shared her insights on questions like:

  • How can history shape our future?
  • What lessons can we learn about gender and equity as we consider the history of pandemics?
  • Can pandemics catalyze substantial change to our social security?
  • How can we prevent national forgetting? What mechanisms can be put in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen again?


  • Nancy K. Bristow, Professor of History, University of Puget Sound
  • Elaine Gibbons, Executive Vice President, Global Engagement and Communications, PATH

Previous forum: Securing supply of COVID-19 diagnostics | June 4, 2020

Access to quality diagnostic tools is our first line of defense for protecting communities from disease. An extraordinary amount of resources have been mobilized in an attempt to rapidly research, develop, and deploy diagnostic testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, access to quality diagnostic remains a challenge. Newly developed tests have varying or unknown performance and quality, manufacturing capacity is unable to meet global demand, and lower- and middle-income countries have been priced out of available supply. PATH is monitoring these supply insecurities and the needs of clinicians and health providers around the world and is providing guidance and resources to industry partners and countries in order rapidly address these challenges.


  • Neha Agarwal, Senior Commercialization Officer for Diagnostics, PATH
  • David Boyle, Chief Scientific Officer and Diagnostics Program Lead, PATH
  • Elliot Cowan, Principal, Partners in Diagnostics, LLC
  • Sira Thiam Konate, Program Coordinator GHSA, Health Systems Innovation and Delivery, PATH
  • Richard Thayer, Managing Partner at Halteres Associates, LLC

Previous forum: Continuing essential service delivery in a pandemic: HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria solutions in action | May 27, 2020

In countries across the world, public health systems have made significant progress towards global goals for ending HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. Now, faced with COVID-19, these programs are up against new challenges that threaten recent lifesaving gains.

This live forum highlighted ways HIV, TB, and malaria service delivery platforms are being leveraged to support the COVID-19 response while mitigating its impact on delivery of essential health services and protecting frontline health care providers.


  • Mr. Ben Aliwa, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Kenya Country Director, PATH
  • Chris Collins, President, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
  • Dr. Kimberly Green, Global Director, HIV & TB, PATH
  • Linden Morrison, Head, High Impact Africa II Department at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
  • Dr. Caroline Phiri-Chibawe, Chief of Party, Program for the Advancement of Malaria Outcomes, PATH
  • Dr. Shibu Vijayan, Global TB Technical Director, PATH

Previous forum: Maintaining commitment for immunization in Africa through COVID-19 and beyond | May 6, 2020

In the lead-up to the Gavi replenishment, this discussion invited government and civil society leaders from several African countries to explore approaches to sustaining vaccine services during COVID-19, and mobilizing civil society, policymakers, and political leaders to secure commitment for sustained support for immunization during this period and beyond.


  • Dr. Alfred Driwale, Manager, National Expanded Programme on Immunization, Uganda
  • Dr. Marthe Essengue, Regional Head, Francophone Africa, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
  • Rachel Ndirangu, Advocacy & Policy Officer, PATH
  • Fred Njobvu, Implementation Manager, PATH

In partnership with the BID Learning Network and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Previous forum: Real-time epidemic response | April 14, 2020

With a lens on Senegal, this discussion dove into real-time public health efforts underway to support governments and emergency operations centers as they fight the pandemic.


  • Dr. Abdoulaye Bousso, Director, Health Emergency Operations Center, Senegal
  • Ms. Aminatou Sar, Senegal Country Director, PATH
  • Dr. Linda Venczel, Director, Global Health Security, PATH

Previous forum: Understanding the COVID-19 pandemic | April 9, 2020

In the session, PATH's two top doctors, who are experts in public health and vaccine research and development, provide an update on the current status of the epidemic, vaccines, and treatments as of April 9, 2020.


  • Dr. David Fleming, Vice President, Global Health Programs
  • Dr. David Kaslow, Vice President, Essential Medicines

About PATH's response to COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, we are working to lessen its impact. Our experts are partnering with governments to establish emergency operations centers; advise on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak; and stand up digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance. You can read about all of our efforts here, and you can donate to support them here.