Partnerships for innovation, access and delivery: Strengthening health systems to advance pandemic preparedness and human security in Africa

TICAD 8 side event

August 11, 2022

TICAD 8 side event

Credit: UNDP Africa
Event Details
24 August 2022

5:00-6:30 (EDT) / 10:00-11:30 (TUN) / 12:00-13:30 (EAT) / 18:00-19:30 (JST)


Co-organizer: UNDP, GHIT Fund, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Language: English, French, Japanese

As the world faces multiple interconnected crises, including the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the global community is being tested in its commitment to “leave no one behind”. Global collaboration at unprecedented scale and speed is possible, as has been well demonstrated by the record pace set in the research and development of the multiple COVID-19 vaccines. Yet the availability of these vaccines only signals the start of a long journey towards equitable access. The measures adopted now to address COVID-19 – from tackling the current inequities in global vaccine access, to the existing fragility of national health systems, and the need to protect the vulnerable and marginalized – will have significant implications for the outlook for sustainable human development and achievement of universal health coverage.

These lessons are critical for the design of an improved response to COVID-19 and to prevent future pandemics. The improved response must also not neglect other health priorities, including combating tuberculosis (TB), malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). These endemic diseases persist in many low- and middle-income countries, including in the Africa region, with significant health, economic and social consequences. In 2020, COVID-19 disruptions caused TB and malaria diagnoses to drop by 59 percent and 31 percent, respectively, and there were 1 million fewer people treated for TB and 45,000 additional malaria-related deaths. There is still an urgent need for safe and effective tools to prevent, diagnose and treat NTDs, which continue to impact 1.7 billion people worldwide, Access to health services for TB, malaria and NTDs should be regarded as a benchmark towards progress.

An approach that recognises global health security as essential for realizing human security and sustainable development is needed, with a view to achieving universal health coverage. This approach requires an equitable pandemic response and strengthened health systems, while at the same time, enhancing prevention, preparedness and resilience for future outbreaks and pandemics. A crucial lesson from COVID-19 but also from the experiences of tackling AIDS, Ebola, and SARS, amongst others, is that global cooperation and partnerships are vital for success. It is timely for the global community to marshal its combined resources to invest in innovative partnerships that can provide a foundation for effective and sustained action.

Since 2013, the Government of Japan (GoJ) has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to respond to critical gaps in affording health technologies to low- and middle-income countries. Through the Global Health Innovation Technology (GHIT) Fund, and the Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP), GOJ and UNDP are addressing gaps within the health innovation, access and delivery continuum in LMICs, by stimulating R&D and strengthening health systems. This partnership has enabled the work of some 200 partners from all over the world working to address critical health gaps. Japan’s Global Health Strategy (May 2022) and UNDP’s 2022 Special Report on Human Security both share a strong focus on building resilience of national health systems and prioritising equitable access to health towards universal health coverage. In addition, GOJ and UNDP acknowledge the need for a global architecture that will engender collaboration for health and human security.



This side event will bring together key national, regional and global actors to share their insights on the measures and actions towards achieving global health security. The discussion and dialogue will address the range of issues related to financing, research and technology, manufacturing as well as regulation and delivery – all of which are vital in enabling progress towards health security.

The objectives of the discussion are as follows:

  • Identify the strengths and challenges of existing health systems and infrastructure, including the responses to the challenges of TB, malaria, NTDs, as well as to COVID-19, to develop forward-looking strategies for enhanced national responses
  • Identify key areas for increased regional and global collaboration, to leverage synergies and build new partnerships that can advance pandemic preparedness and universal health coverage in Africa
  • Inform the work of the co-sponsors, as GOJ, UNDP and the GHIT Fund collectively develop strategies to address gaps within the innovation, access and delivery value chain in LMICs.