The World Health Organization (WHO) held the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly May 18–19 — its first-ever to be held virtually. Most low-resource countries and all developed countries attended the meeting. At the direction of the Trump administration, the United States did not participate.
The agenda focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and adopted a resolution by consensus to use the tool of global unity to fight the virus. More than 130 countries (excluding the United States, which has halted funding to the WHO) sponsored the resolution, which calls for the following actions:
* Intensification of efforts to control the pandemic
* Equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus
* An independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response, including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance
Despite early action by the Peruvian government, COVID-19 continues to devastate the nation. Once in Lima, the virus rapidly spread to the city of Iquitos and from that gateway to remote villages along the Amazon, an area where WiRED’s partner, Project Amazonas (PA), provides medical services. Working with PA, WiRED provides health education and other IT resources, including an electronic patient record system that runs entirely off the grid; patient data collected in remote regions can be uploaded to country-level data programs for aggregation and analysis.
WiRED International’s goal is to provide free medical and health information materials and training to low-resource communities around the world. We place all our work within the context of One Health principles — that all life on our planet is interconnected. While COVID-19 is drawing everyone’s attention, conditions leading to climate change are increasing as the federal administration is rolling back nearly 100 environmental and land use regulations in our own country. In this article, WiRED board member, Dr. Elizabeth Fine, reviews a recent film that addresses how the loosening of environmental protection laws in the United States impacts our health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. People are isolated at home with time on their hands. Anxiety levels are high.
One way to cope is to adopt or to foster an animal. Shelters and rescue organizations report record numbers of applications, and some places are empty of animals for the first time ever.
When The World Health Organization declared 2020 “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife,” no one had any idea that nurses and other first responders would be front and center in the fight against COVID-19.
Healthcare workers expose themselves to the risk of the virus as they do what they are trained to do every time they begin a shift, which is care for those with disease, work in their communities on prevention through education, and care for those in community and home settings.
COVID-19, climate change, neglected tropical diseases, recently released health education modules and videos on our work, a new smartphone app — these are all topics of recent stories posted on WiRED International’s website.
GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement, is launching a special day of unity to take place on May 5, to address urgent needs caused by COVID-19. People are encouraged to donate to organizations dealing with the severe impact of the virus.
Due to dramatic advances in transportation, a viral outbreak that began halfway around the world now assaults our entire country. It is sickening and killing even people in small towns like Odon, Indiana. That’s where my 91-year-old brother is confined to a small room in an assisted living facility. He’s recuperating from hip surgery and isolated to hopefully avoid contracting the deadly virus.
It’s World Immunization Week. Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that even before COVID-19 emerged, millions of people — particularly children- across the globe were left unprotected against preventable diseases. Today, the turmoil stirred by the coronavirus pandemic is creating a health crisis more catastrophic than COVID-19 itself.
How we treat ourselves, our animals and our planet is a matter of life or death. Earth Day 2020 reminds us to address climate change in terms of One Health — the intersection of human, animal and environmental health. The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us that we must be responsible for each other — everywhere.