In the face of global vaccine inequity, the need for treatments at all stages of COVID-19 is more pronounced than ever. Yet research and development of therapeutics has been relatively neglected in the global response to COVID-19 – and the few treatment innovations that do exist have been principally available in high-income countries. There is some recent good news on the therapeutic front, with the possible approval in the coming weeks and months of several new antiviral treatments. But without urgent course correction, the very same challenges that have stymied equitable access to vaccines may also hinder availability, affordability, and equitable access to these treatments. How can we best address both the promise and pitfalls of the past year and half when it comes to treatments for COVID-19? How can these lessons help shape the pandemic preparedness and response architecture that is emerging?
Moderator: Dr Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, Infectious Disease Fellow, Emory University School of Medicine and Academic Editor, PLOS Global Public Health
- Dr Ayoade Alakija, Co-Chair, African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance
- Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Chair, DNDi Board of Directors
- Ms Loyce Pace, MPH, Director, Office of Global Affairs, US Department of Health and Human Services
- Dr Mariângela Simão, Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products, World Health Organization
Dr Ayoade Alakija
Dr Ayoade Alakija is Co-Chair of the African Union’s African Vaccine Delivery Alliance, a Global Advisory Board Member for WomenLift Health, and Chief Strategist for CONVINCE Africa. She is the former Chief Humanitarian Coordinator of the Nigerian Emergency Coordination Centre, where she was a high-level interlocutor between state and non-state actors at governmental and intergovernmental levels. She has previously served with the United Nations in numerous capacities, including with UNFPA and UNICEF.
Dr Marie-Paule Kieny
Dr Marie-Paule Kieny is Chair of the Board of DNDi. Dr Kieny is Director of Research at France’s public health research institute, Inserm and has advised the French government on treatments, tests, and vaccines for COVID-19. She is also Chair of the Board of the Medicines Patent Pool. Dr Kieny served as Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization until 2017. She sits on numerous boards and advisory committees, has published hundreds of articles, and has received countless awards and honours for her work in the fields of infectious diseases, immunology, vaccinology, and health systems.
Ms Loyce Pace
Ms Loyce Pace is the Director of the Office of Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she is responsible for advancing the U.S. international health agenda through multilateral and bilateral fora, such as the G7, G20, UN General Assembly, and World Health Assembly. Prior to joining the Biden Administration, Ms Pace was President & Executive Director of Global Health Council (GHC) and was also a member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. She has spent the last decade working with community-based organizations and grassroots leaders in countries across Africa and Asia on campaigns calling for person-centered access to health and sits on a number of boards and advisory committees focusing on equity and inclusion.
Dr Mariângela Simão
Dr Mariângela Simão from Brazil is Assistant Director General for Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals at WHO. Prior to joining WHO, she was Director of Community Support, Social Justice and Inclusion at UNAIDS and before that, was Director of the National STD/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department in the Brazilian Ministry of Health. She brings more than 30 years of experience working in the Brazilian public health system and enhancing access to and decentralizing health services in the country.