For well over a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic has put both public health systems and the public at large to an excruciating test. The need for governments and the citizens they represent to heed the advice of experts to help slow the spread of the disease remains as urgent as ever in order to ease the enormous burden being placed on hospitals and healthcare workers around the world. Although the public research institutes and pharmaceutical industry have been successful in producing vaccines against COVID-19, and with doses of being administered at impressive rates in many high-income countries, these remain out of reach for the vast majority of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To avoid prolonging the pandemic, and to mitigate the risk of evermore variants appearing, it is essential that we achieve equitable access to vaccines now.
Meanwhile, around the world, and particularly in LMICs, the unintended consequences of social distancing and lockdown of services wreaks havoc for the poorest and disenfranchised. Reports of avoidable deaths as a direct result of restrictions in place, or the potential disruption to essential supplies of life-saving medicines, such as insulin are likely to become more common, as attention is focused almost solely on beating COVID-19. For that reason, HAI’s core work on medicines supply chains, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), snakebite, insulin and access to medicines in Europe continue, with a stronger emphasis and reflection on the impact of COVID-19 on all of our projects.
On this page, you will find more information about the work HAI is doing to help ensure the affordability and accessibility of treatments for COVID-19, as well as the impact and mitigation of challenges related to all our programmes.