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A call for COVID-19 responses to apply comprehensive public health principles

In the lead up to the UN General Assembly this week, hera has joined a call to action for a comprehensive, participatory and justice-driven public health system for all.

The call comes from a group of public health advocates from diverse regions, areas of work and disciplines. The initiative stems originally from discussions in the Health Systems Global SHAPES technical working group. This latest initiative addresses concerns regarding "long-standing tensions between biosecurity- and biomedical-focused approaches to public health and those that address social determinants, facilitate participation and protect human rights." More specifically the call advances ten key principles to support the reclamation of comprehensive public health.

  1. Ensure that health interventions are based on collaboration within and across countries
  2. Engage the community in developing pandemic responses
  3. Information used to shape and assess pandemic responses must be accessible, accurate, and timely
  4. Set clear goals relevant to local contexts
  5. Do no harm when responding to public health crises
  6. Balance any pandemic control measures with the protection of human rights
  7. Promote safety and support for health and other frontline workers
  8. Ensure fair and safe access to PPE, vaccines, and other pandemic prevention and control goods
  9. Provide economic and social support for all those negatively affected by pandemic control measures
  10. Provide adequate funding for health and social protection

These ten principals should inform laws, standards, systems, programmes and actions, from the local to global levels. As signatories to the call hera commit's to the realization of these principles and approaches and invite others to join as well.