October 20, 2020
More than nine months into this new pandemic, we know that COVID-19 continues to have an enormous negative impact on many global health priorities, including HIV, TB, malaria and routine vaccine programs, as well as reproductive health. The WHO estimates that if significant efforts are not made to address the health care disruption caused by COVID-19, there could be an additional 500,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses, including TB, in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020–2021.
But these outcomes are not a foregone conclusion. We can already see how civil society, communities, and countries are developing and implementing innovative ways to combat COVID-19 without losing ground in other areas. Amref Health Africa, AVAC and Friends of the Global Fight have come together to document these success stories with a new project called Protecting Global Gains. You can see it online at www.protectingglobalgains.org and on Twitter at @hivpxresearch, @theglobalfight and @Amref_Worldwide. We hope you’ll amplify these stories on your own social media—and help us identify other stories that need to be told.
Protecting Global Gains showcases innovation to advance more resilient and sustainable systems for health. Our first featured story is Leap, a platform developed by Amref Health Africa, which is helping train community health workers in Kenya. Leap pairs technology with tried-and-true public health practice to address training needs in a public health emergency. Its potential benefits extend well beyond COVID-19.
We will regularly highlight innovative approaches that are helping communities. The site also houses resources and social media materials to equip advocates with data and messaging to demand changes to advance both emergency responses and long-term health priorities. If you have a story of innovation to share, let us know here.
We look forward to sharing more stories in the weeks and months ahead, hearing from advocates about these tools and joining together to protect global gains.