Public Health Emergencies and Universal Health Coverage: GSCF’s statements at the 152nd Session of the WHO Executive Board Meeting

Share this article

The annual Executive Board meeting of the World health Organization was held on 30 January – 7 February, 2023, when the members agreed upon the agenda for the World Health Assembly and the resolutions to be considered by the Health Assembly. GSCF delivered a joint contribution with the Global Innovative Health Industries Alliance highlighting the role of the private sector and an individual contribution highlighting the role of self-care in the delivery of UHC.

  • Strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilience (EB152/12) – a joint contribution highlighting the role of the private sector together with the Global Innovative Health Industries Alliance, composed of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA); Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO); Global Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare IT & Radiation Therapy Trade Association (DITTA); and GSCF.

COVID-19 showed that a fast and effective response to global health threats require unprecedented public-private partnerships and a strong, IP-based innovation ecosystem. Multistakeholder collaboration is a cornerstone of pandemic crises management where industry’s proven ability to deliver innovative R&D, quick manufacturing scaling up, and global supply chain management should be enabled and leveraged. In this capacity, the private sector should be included as a critical partner in preparedness, response, and recovery.

Important challenges remain to improve equitable rollout of vaccines, treatments, screening, and diagnostics in future pandemics. Recognizing that we should act faster and better, the innovative pharmaceutical industry has committed to early access – via the Berlin Declaration – by reserving an allocation of real-time production of vaccines and treatments for priority populations in lower-income countries and taking measures to make them available and affordable.

There are complex interdependencies in the global health architecture, and it is important to avoid unnecessary overlaps. Any new system should be complementary, leverage existing instruments, and include clarifications on how it relates to other existing frameworks, rather than create new pathways where proven ones already exist. We encourage WHO to maintain focus on its core mission as a global technical authority, setting norms and standards. In line with the principle of subsidiarity, tasks and decision-making processes that are more efficiently performed nationally or regionally should remain at these levels.

We are encouraged to see the Pandemic Fund will support and prioritize PPR in inter-pandemic times. We believe that continued investments and timely availability of funding during pandemic and interpandemic times is critical to ensure better pandemic preparedness. Increasing health systems readiness and resilience requires long term global and local investment, which cannot happen after a pandemic has already hit.

Also, we need to ensure the continuation of essential services across the continuum of care for people living with NCDs throughout public health emergencies. All efforts related to public health emergencies preparedness and response should be used to build on efforts to achieve UHC.


  • Reorienting health systems to primary health care as a resilient foundation for UHC and preparations for a HLM of the UNGA on UHC (EB152/5): individual contribution highlighting the role of self-care in the delivery of UHC

The journey towards achieving UHC must consider self-care as a foundational building-block. At an individual level, self-care practices promote health literacy and empowerment enabling individuals to make decisions about health. Self-management and monitoring were critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting further self-care achieves better prevention, particularly for people living with NCDs. At a systems level, enabling individuals fosters the efficient use of healthcare resources, as the world grapples with rising costs and health worker shortages. 

It is within our collective power to unlock the benefits of self-care enabled health systems globally, if only we set up adequate policy frameworks that embed self-care into the continuum. The UHC HLM offers an unprecedent opportunity to achieve collective political aspirations for UHC. Our constituency endeavors to elevate self-care in the global health agenda through a future new WHO Resolution on Self-Care for the benefit of individuals and society. 

Download the statements here: