Gavin Yamey, professor of the practice of global health and public policy, and Osondu Ogbuoji, assistant research professor of global health, were part of a team invited to write a policy brief on global public health goods and COVID-19 for this year’s G20 global summit.
The brief, Reaffirming the Significance of Global Public Goods, argues that public health is a crucial global public good. It looks at the “global scramble to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic” as demonstrating the need for global collective action and recognition of health as integral to the social, economic and environmental resilience of the planet. The pandemic has shown that both rich and poor countries are mutually vulnerable, as infectious agents do not recognize political boundaries.
The G20 Leaders’ Declaration included several recommendations from the brief in sections B10 and B11. It recognized the importance of global public health goods, the need for resilient health systems, global pandemic preparedness, universal health coverage and the future of the WHO.