• Blog Post

Global Health in times of Covid-19

Publish Date

02 JUN 2020


According to the World Health Organization, at least half of the world’s population does not have access to essential health care. In times of Covid-19, the most vulnerable countries will be worst affected.

The Global Health Institute remains strongly committed to support global health together with its partners.

The current Covid-19 pandemic underscores the critical importance of having strong health systems as well as solid collaborations to effectively address emergencies. The pandemic risks to dramatically impact low- and middle-income countries where health systems are already struggling with a double burden of infectious diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis.

More than ever, in these challenging times, we, at the Global Health Institute, remain committed to our mission to develop and provide access to transformative and integrated health solutions (treatments, diagnostics, vector controls and system strengthening approaches) to the most vulnerable populations suffering from infectious diseases, mainly schistosomiasis and malaria.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have increased our collaborative efforts by:

  • safeguarding our ongoing projects on malaria and schistosomiasis that are conducted by partners in endemic countries;  
  • providing expertise and assets for new health solutions such as providing compounds for the R&D screening group;
  • evaluating and implementing proposals to support “anti SARS-CoV-2 research”.

In addition, as part of our evolving strategy at the Institute, we emphasize the importance of building and enhancing health system preparedness, strengthening and resilience to prepare for and effectively respond to crises. Some prominent examples include:

  • The GALAC program for laboratory capacity building in Ghana
  • The PAVON program for epidemiology mapping of malaria in more than 10 African countries
  • The A2W (access to water) initiative for schistosomiasis in Senegal
  • The Master Program in Uganda to test degree of resistance of bacterial pathogens

Although many of these programs initially focus on specific diseases (e.g. malaria, schistosomiasis), they are all aimed at building general capacity and expertise that will support health policy making and render health care systems more resilient to many different types of health crises.

In addition, through a Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany-coordinated effort, we, at the Institute, are concretely contributing expertise and assets to various high-level working groups, including the ones convened by EDCTP (European and Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership), the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Covid-19 Clinical Research Coalition, and the Consortium alongside Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The most vulnerable patients are close to our heart and with Covid-19, anxiety increases for all of us. But it is also in times like these that our expertise and perseverance will help to achieve our vision of a world free of infectious diseases.

Learn more here