TEPHINET Delivers Statement on Equity to Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies (WGPR)

TEPHINET Secretariat

On March 18, 2022, TEPHINET director Dr. Carl Reddy attended an informal intersessional meeting of the Working Group on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies (WGPR). Equity was a major focus area of discussion, particularly with regards to developing nations’ equitable access to pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity.

Dr. Reddy attended as a delegate of The Task Force for Global Health, a non-State actor of which TEPHINET is a program. Read his statement below:

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on behalf of the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET), a program in The Task Force for Global Health.

TEPHINET is the global network of more than 75 Field Epidemiology Training Programs serving 160 countries. Our more than 19,000 alumni play a critical role in pandemic preparedness and response.

We thank WHO and Member States for their commitment to equity.

For TEPHINET, the ultimate measure of equity is when a country has its own strong and reliable public health system, including capacity in the essential public health functions, through a national public health institute or ministry of health.

Equity cannot be achieved until each country has its own public health workforce, including field epidemiologists, laboratorians, health economists and community workers.

To increase equity, we urge WHO and Member States to consider expanding the global field epidemiology workforce needed to detect and respond to disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

To do so, we suggest that you consider recommendations from our Global Field Epidemiology Roadmap, developed through a robust consultative process co-chaired by WHO and the U.S. CDC.

These recommendations can help to ensure that there is equitable distribution – to all countries – of the epidemiology capacities needed to protect the health of their citizens - and to collaborate with others - to ensure global health security.

Non-State actors can help WHO and Member States to build equity through partnerships like TEPHINET. This robust global community of practice fosters the sharing of scientific and policy expertise, supporting WHO’s leadership in international collaboration and cooperation.

Thank you.