The COVID-19 pandemic has had a grave impact on different sectors of countries, globally. World leaders must act swiftly and strategically to ensure that response, recovery, and mitigation efforts are implemented.
While organizations such as the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund and Global Citizen are taking action to end the pandemic, the roles of world leaders cannot be overlooked.
The United Nations General Assembly is underway, where world leaders are gathered to make decisions on global issues. A portion of the overview of the high-level week states, “as we work to end the pandemic everywhere and reboot the global economy, the choices we make will either secure human, economic and environmental health for generations to come, or reinforce old patterns that are destroying nature and driving societal division”.
We hope that the General Assembly marks a turning point in the current state of the world.
Here are some ways that world leaders can play their roles in aiding the world on the path to recovery:
Provide adequate support to healthcare workers. Our healthcare workers have been at the frontline of the fight against the pandemic, working rigorously to curb the spread of the virus and treat infected citizens.
World leaders must empower them by paying salaries, hazard allowances and other dues. They must also help healthcare systems become more resilient by providing necessary equipment and structures that enable these workers to perform optimally.
Expedite action on their commitment to ensuring that there is equitable vaccine access globally through COVAX. Vaccine equity is important in our fight against the pandemic.
The World Health Organization has noted that at least 40% of people in every country must be vaccinated by the end of 2021, and at least 70% by the first half of 2022. These numbers are the WHO’s targets, which the organisation suggests can be achieved “if countries and vaccine manufacturers make a genuine commitment to vaccine equity”.
- Empower the science and medical industries to carry out further research and develop innovative solutions to end the pandemic. PATH rightfully suggests that a unified global action plan by world leaders must include more robust research capabilities around the world: world-class clinical trial sites, manufacturing facilities capable of producing high-quality medical products, and a clear pathway to speedy registration and delivery of those products once developed”.
- Communicate with citizens, keeping them informed and updated on their strategies and action plans to fight the pandemic. There must be transparency in communication to the individuals they are accountable to. Citizens of a country should have confidence in their government’s capability to ensure their health and safety are guaranteed
We hope that world leaders can take necessary action and keep to their commitments so that the pandemic-free world we dream of can become our reality