World Health Summit must go beyond “one-size-fits-all”

We must build our future on improved worldwide health: equitable health everywhere with a healthy planet as the basis. We are attending the World Health Summit 2022 at a time when health inequality, epidemics, and pandemics are worsening health challenges being faced the world over. The Summit will take place on 16-18 October 2022 in Berlin, Germany focusing on the theme: “Making the Choice for Health.” We must go beyond ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches in tackling inequalities. Our approach as Humana People to People places people and communities front and center of the fight against HIV, TB, malaria, and malnutrition. Our health projects are aligned with international, regional, and national strategies, such as the WHO Global Strategy to End TB, Global Vector Control Response 2017-2030, the UNAIDS Fast-Track Strategy to End AIDS by 2030, the International Conference on Population and Development Program of Action, and Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy, among others.

As we take part in the World Health Summit 2022, we seek to showcase some of our health approaches that have been effective in fighting HIV, TB, malaria, and other health challenges in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Fighting Malaria in South Africa

The World Health Summit (WHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are joining forces to foster global health and well-being for all. WHS 2022 creates synergies and combines forces for global health development by engaging all relevant global health leaders and stakeholders from all sectors in all regions of the world. In 2022, World Health Summit addresses topical priorities for global health which, are the investment for health and well-being, climate change and planetary health, architecture for pandemic preparedness, digital transformation for health, food systems and health, health systems resilience and equity, and global health for peace.

WHS 2022 strengthens exchange, stimulates innovative solutions to health challenges, fosters global health as a key political issue, and promotes the global health debate in the spirit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Giving everyone the chance to live a healthy life is a global effort and the key to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3. “Through our enhanced collaboration and the launch of the 2022 Summit, we aim to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and make the world a safer place for all,” says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

Our health programs begin with people and not with disease; we respond to how people live their lives. Positive health outcomes rely on people living well; when they drive, build and maintain good health in their communities. Our members have been and still are implementing community-based projects addressing major public health issues for over two decades. We center on bridging the gap between communities and public health services through a rights-based approach to care. Our trained community outreach workers spearhead activities at the community level and work to increase awareness, reduce stigma and promote the right to health, provide community-based services, increase linkages to health services and provide support for treatment adherence for chronic diseases.

Malaria Testing in South Africa

Our Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) program supports the right to health as a public good. TCE has a well-coordinated structure that, is active at the community level; it strengthens social support mechanisms and builds people-centered support systems that empower communities to fight as a united front. Since 2000, our TCE program has reached over 21 million people across 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, saving lives and supporting thousands to live healthy and positive lives.
Our Total Control of TB response program models are community-driven, and people-centered and offer locally-led solutions with transformative outcomes. We observed that increasing community participation and adoption of new knowledge supporting social behavior change is fundamental in accelerating early TB case detection. One of our members, ADPP Mozambique is the lead implementer in the Local TB Response project across four provinces with high TB incidence. During the first two years, the project identified 35,391 new TB cases, and 86 Drug Resistant-TB cases. We hope the summit will help the globe recover, rebuild and renew commitments supporting better health systems, which is key to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

Fighting Malaria in South Africa