Country delegations gather virtually this month for the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), to address global challenges, with global health at the forefront. The Task Force for Global Health holds consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, the highest status granted to non-governmental organizations, which allows us to participate in the work of the United Nations.
This year, we hosted a UNGA side event in addition to our ongoing engagement on key issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic, health equity, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 13 targets of SDG 3 ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, including indicators related to many Task Force programs, such as ending preventable childhood deaths; eliminating neglected tropical diseases; ensuring access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines; training health workers in developing countries; and strengthening capacity for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.
The side event was hosted by The Task Force’s Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination (CGHE) on ‘Scaling Up Hepatitis Testing to Achieve the SDGs.’ This event brought together diagnostic organizations, country representatives, and public health institutions, including Africa CDC, the Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, to discuss both the challenges and opportunities in hepatitis testing presented by COVID-19.
“The theme of the 75th UN General Assembly, ‘reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism,’ embodies the CGHE’s mission of building a global coalition of partners committed to hepatitis elimination,” said CGHE Director, John Ward, MD. “During this year’s side event, CGHE partners are exploring how the COVID19 response has presented new obstacles but more importantly new opportunities for hepatitis elimination, such as investments in diagnostic capacity. Working together, we will achieve hepatitis elimination.”