The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the urgency of global health issues and the importance of a coordinated response to tackle them.
India’s situation is urgent. So many of us have families who are affected, and we need to ensure the humanitarian response is reaching deep into every community with life-saving medical support and equipment.
In April 2021, an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 infections in India has led to a shortfall in medical oxygen, intensive care unit beds, and life-saving medicines. The WHO has been leading the UN effort to support the country to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic, since the first COVID-19 cases were confirmed in early February 2020. As of May 27, 2021, India had reported 27.4 million COVID-19 cases and 315 000 deaths.
When I started as the CEO of the Foundation in support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in January 2021, I was determined to create an innovative platform to allow individuals and corporations from everywhere to invest in health. By bringing together everyone who can play a role in global health, the WHO Foundation is urgently pushing for new and better solutions to tackle today’s biggest health challenges and ultimately, save lives. Right now, COVID-19 is one of the biggest priorities. We must do all we can to help India and beat this pandemic.
In response to the worsening situation in India, the WHO Foundation launched the “Together for India” appeal on May 12, encouraging individual donors and corporations to support the World Health Organization’s work to address the COVID-19 emergency in the country by donating to an online fundraising campaign: https://donate-covid19.india.who.foundation.
To date, WHO has delivered:
Over 4000 oxygen concentrators
116 high performance tents
Over 400’000 PCR test kits
The efforts of the medical teams to tackle the pandemic are tireless. WHO is collaborating with the Government of India on the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) to monitor the situation, gather rapid response teams, and strengthen health care capacity. An additional emergency action plan has been deployed by WHO to provide extensive technical assistance and field support to ensure no one gets left behind.
As part of the urgent effort, more than 2600 WHO experts have been redeployed within the country to work with health authorities at all levels to respond to the pandemic. But with the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths rising, the WHO teams in India need more support to tackle the growing surge and ensure the medical response leaves no one behind.
Proceeds from the “Together for India” appeal will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, in support of the WHO Indian Country Office to provide equipment, supplies, and technical advice to the emergency response across India. Join us to support the urgent health response.
Unfortunately, the situation in India is not unique. Joining forces and demonstrating this type of solidarity is the only way we will stop the spread of the virus and overcome this pandemic.
Our goal at the WHO Foundation is to use this as an opportunity to mobilize more resources for the global fight against COVID-19 and to create specific appeals for corporations and individuals to support these responses. Together, we can all play our part to support India.
Anil Soni is a leader in global health who has worked for 20 years in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to expand healthcare access in low and middle-income countries. Before joining the WHO Foundation, he was Head of Global Infectious Diseases at Mylan, working across a pharmaceutical company to accelerate the availability of new and innovative treatments. Anil was closely involved in the early years of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, serving as the Advisor to the Executive Director and the Founding Executive Director of Friends of the Global Fight.