World Health Professions Alliance calls on G20 to protect health workers facing Covid-19

The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), including the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), has written an open letter to the G20 leaders calling for co-ordinated action to ensure the security of the supply chain of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all health professionals and healthcare workers on the front line against Covid-19. The letter asks the G20 to “take immediate and adequate steps to reactivate and ensure the supply chains for PPE with speed and consistency through manufacturing, customs, procurement, and delivery”.

The WHPA, an alliance of pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, dentists and doctors, called for the world’s leaders “to put geopolitics to one side to secure the global PPE supply chain before we lose more staff and, consequently, more patients”.

Dr Catherine Duggan, FIP CEO, said: “We have seen a number of deaths among front line pharmacists, even in countries with a relatively strong healthcare infrastructure. And now we are seeing Covid-19 emerge in Africa and Latin America. Together, we are urging G20 leaders to find creative solutions to solve the current PPE supply problem. All our healthcare workers must be protected because they are taking great risks to continue to care for their communities. FIP will be sending out its own Call to Action to governments, covering these very issues, shortly.”  

In the open letter, five organisations, which together represent more than 31 million healthcare professionals across the globe, said that international co-operation would also assist lower-income countries with fewer resources to access the vital equipment needed to protect their health workforce. “In the face of a global pandemic, there is no room for national egos,” they concluded.