Equal access to vaccines requires political will to work with communities and health, primary care and social professions to find a global solution to a global crisis. IFSW Secretary-General Rory Truell says, ‘We need your help to make this statement a global reality` and asks members to lobby their health ministries.
Next week the G7 countries meet in England on 12th June 2021. USA, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, UK and Japan. All are countries that have delivered vaccines to their own populations ahead of others and have committed to support COVAX, but still the COVID virus takes many thousands of lives. We have a responsibility to build a global response to a global crisis.
Last month IFSW as part of the Coalition of Health, Primary Care and Social Work Professionals wrote to Boris Johnson as the President of the G7 Summit (Link to letter). We asked for representation at the summit and called on the G7 summit leaders to work in partnership with professionals and communities to co-design and co-produce a global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. We said, together we can create global solutions to this global problem with concrete, healthy, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable solutions for both the short and long term.
On behalf of the UK government, Lord Bethell responded:
“We are dedicated to working proactively with the G7 to create strategies to effectively fight the COVID pandemic, focussing on rapid and equitable distribution of vaccines and collective defences against health security risks. Through our presidency, we are encouraging G7 health leaders to endorse a ‘Health Declaration’ to respond to longer-term challenges and to build an international health response”.
Receiving this response is a start but without communities and health, primary care and social work professionals input we are concerned how far reaching and effective the ‘Health Declaration’ will be. This is a time to be persistent and IFSW seeks your support in the preparation of this Health Declaration to ensure it is based on what we know works and that the statement will be accompanied by action.
In the IFSW Call for Action we ask our members, especially those in countries in the G7 group to
- Contact the government officials who are actively engaged in preparing the Health Declaration.
- To inform them that our collective experience, with our health colleagues is that inequality and ill-equipped health and social protection systems are key exacerbators of this pandemic.
- Co-working with communities, political leaders and informed health, primary care and social work professionals are fundamental to getting this pandemic under control.
- Creating future strong health and social protection systems will prevent future pandemics causing the destruction to people’s well-being and global economies.