Leaders from the Americas are gathering at their Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week, after COVID-19 devastated a significant portion of the region with 1.3 million deaths in Latin America alone.
To continue battling the current pandemic and prepare for future international health crises, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges leaders to work to ensure equity in pandemic commodities, boost genomic sequencing efforts, and foster sincere and transparent collaboration in all matters of global public health, particularly infectious disease outbreaks.
“Latin America accounts for a significant portion of the Americas and was hit harder by COVID-19 than any other region globally. Leaders must absolutely use this summit to prioritize how countries can work more cooperatively regionwide to manage responses to pandemics,” said Dr. Patricia Campos, AHF’s Bureau Chief for Latin America and the Caribbean. “A nation’s wealth – or lack thereof – must not determine who can or cannot access health care goods or services. Leaders of the Americas must commit to creating a new Global Public Health Convention that is transparent, accountable, and works for and protects everyone.”
The COVID-19 death toll to date for the Americas is at nearly 3 million people – although the World Health Organization estimates actual numbers to be much higher. A new and equitable Global Public Health Convention would lower the number of preventable deaths and ensure vital commodities like vaccines, personal protective equipment, diagnostics, and therapeutics reach people who need them most.