Following the advice of the Dutch Government, Health Action International will continue to work from home until at least 28 April 2020.

We are very much aware that we are privileged in being able to work from home with minimal disruption to our daily work. This is not the experience of many, especially our colleagues in low- and middle-income countries, and is something we will be discussing in more detail through this blog in the future.

For the most part, this has been an unusual shift for many in the team as we enjoy being together in the office. But we are also used to working remotely, on travel duty or from home,  so the team has quickly adapted and have remained connected throughout this unfamiliar period. 

Our European Projects team have been able to make vital contributions to the calls for transparency, affordability and availability of European Union (EU) funded therapies for COVID-19. This included a joint letter from 33 Members of the European Parliament to the European Commission and acting as part of a number of other civil society-led initiatives to make any future vaccine or therapy for COVID-19 available and affordable for all in need, in Europe and beyond.

This week, the ACCISS Team held their first online cross-country exchange meeting, rather than meeting in-person as would otherwise have been the case. Being able to continue these kinds of discussions in this period is essential. In this case, the meeting looked to the future of the Study’s work to improve access to insulin for all who need it, wherever they live.

The HSA team has synthesised months of research into sexual and reproductive health across sub-Saharan Africa into a series of reports, the first of which has already been published and can be found here. More will follow shortly. Meanwhile, we maintain regular contact with our in-country partners facing the current crisis and continuing their work under difficult circumstances. We’ll also be publishing more updates on this work in due course.

Our Snakebite Project has begun to look at the many ways in which COVID-19 will impact access to anti-venom and healthcare. With healthcare systems overwhelmed, there will be even less opportunity for those bitten by a snake to seek timely and quality care. We are looking at using our evidence-based research to inform scaling up important prevention and first-aid tools in communities in hot spot areas to reduce the number of cases and complications from snakebites to mitigate this threat.

Although working from home has presented some challenges, it has been encouraging to see the team come together through technology to continue to advocate for access to medicines for everyone, everywhere at a time where this is more relevant than ever.