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Together we can create a global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic

May 8, 2021
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IPPNW has co-signed the following letter to the 2021 G20 Summit in partnership with the Coalition of Global Health, Primary Care and Social Work Professionals, initiated by the World Federation of Public Health Associations. The same letter was sent to the 2021 G7 Summit.

Geneva 20 April 2021

Open Letter To:

Hon. Mario Draghi
Prime Minister of Italy
President of the 2021 G20 Summit

Together We Can Overcome the COVID-19 Pandemic: Global Health, Primary Care and
Social Work Professionals Call for Representation at the G20

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health issue requiring a global solution with
regional, national and local applicability. The extreme COVID-19 fatigue and uncertainty
experienced by populations worldwide urgently requires both short-term and long-term
practical solutions. The Coalition of Global Health, Primary Care and Social Work
Professionals, created under the auspices of the World Federation of Public Health
Associations, is representing over 160 million professionals worldwide, the expertise and
knowledge, the experience and the networks to make the difference.

In countries that have been more successful in containing COVID-19, health and social
professionals have been in leading roles formulating evidence-informed recommendations
on the basis of best practice, and supporting societal engagement. The role of frontline
professionals is key to the effective control of the pandemic and can also contribute
towards a unified approach to avoid political polarization and division. We therefore call on
the G20 summit to engage with the representatives of the Coalition to work directly on the
co-design and co-production of local, national, regional and international strategies to
effectively combat the COVID-19 global pandemic.

We are aware that where countries have struggled to implement effective COVID-19
disease control, the political leadership has dominated, and at times compromised, the
critical role of skilled frontline professionals. Greatest success in controlling the pandemic
has been achieved where we have witnessed a high-level of mutual trust between the
government, the professionals and the communities, working towards the same goal.

The 23 global professional bodies in the Coalition call on the G20 summit leaders to work in
partnership with us to co-design and co-produce a global solution to the COVID-19
pandemic. 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

• Support the discovery, development, production, equitable distribution and
allocation of safe and effective vaccines and treatments;

• Enable politicians, professionals and communities to work beyond national and
regional borders, and foster cross-sectoral dialogue and action;

• Work with local communities to reach vulnerable and marginalized populations and

And in the longer-term:

• We need to address health and economic disparities, nationally, regionally and
internationally. This will require the co-design and co-production of effective health
and social protection systems. Working with individuals and communities to
increase the collective resilience and the preparedness of our systems to respond to
potential future pandemics.

Each of the organizations signing this letter call for a global commitment for concrete
action. We, hereby commit ourselves, individually and collectively, to fully utilize the skills,
networks and competencies of the collective public health workforce in supporting the G20
to help advance this solution.

The Coalition of Global Health, Primary Care and Social Work Professionals comprises a
wide range of health and social work professions.

To contact the Coalition Representatives:

Dr. Marta Lomazzi, PhD, PD
Executive Manager
World Federation of Public Health Associations
+41 764287631

Dr. Rory Truell
International Federation of Social Workers
+49 176 32333127

The Coalition of Global Health, Primary Care and Social Work Professionals founding Press
Release is available here.

Signed by:

Alliance of Patients’ Organizations
Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region
Commonwealth Organisation for Social Work
European Student Think Tank
Healthcare Without Harm
International Federation of Environmental Health
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations
International Federation of Social Workers
International Federation on Ageing
International Hospital Federation
International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
International Veterinary Students’ Association
The European Forum for Primary Care
The Global Ageing Network
Union for International Cancer Control
WHO Collaborating Centre on Family Medicine and Primary Health Care -Ghent University
World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine
World Federation of Public Health Associations
World Heart Federation
World Organization of Family Doctors
World Patients Alliance

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