6 December 2022—The WHPA, represented by Tolulope Osigbesan of FDI, made the following statement at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to develop a WHO instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response:
“The World Health Professionals Alliance (WHPA) brings together the global organizations representing the world’s dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and physicians and speaks for more than 41 million health care professionals in more than 130 countries.
WHPA is pleased to note that health care workers are included more prominently in the conceptual zero draft released on 18 November 2022 than in previous drafts.
Nevertheless, there are areas for improvement, and we have submitted specific suggestions for changes to the wording of Article 10 on health systems, and Article 11 on the health workforce.
Our statement highlights that health and care workers bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and they will be at the forefront of future pandemics.
Therefore, we are calling for concrete measures to help the health and care workforce to recover from exhaustion, mental health traumas and burn out; and the urgent need to protect health workers from violence at all times.
The future WHO instrument must mobilize support for the health workforce if we are to learn the lessons from COVID-19 and protect public health.
We look forward to our continued collaboration on this vital instrument.
The WHPA statement was given in response to the request for comments on Chapters III and IV of the conceptual zero draft of the future pandemic instrument. The statement can be seen at minute 46-48 in the recording of Day 2, Session 2 (14.30-17.30) in the "Webcast" section of the INB webpage.
The WHPA also sent a more detailed open letter and drafting suggestions to the INB’s co-chairs and to Geneva missions to the United Nations who participate in negotiations at the WHO on behalf of member states.
By raising a single, united voice to express the concerns of the five professions, the WHPA can maximize its impact in ongoing international health governance processes.