- Mortality surveillance
- Essential health services & supporting vulnerable groups
- Health care workers and Infection Prevention and Control
- COVID-19 in urban settings
- Data for response to COVID-19
- Public health law in COVID-19 response
- Communicating with communities
- Public health and social measures
- Epidemic preparedness
- Contact tracing and public health capacity building
- Success in action
We support countries with a range of interventions to reduce COVID-19 transmission while preserving essential services and building health system capacity, with a focus on sustained global epidemic prevention efforts. We provide expert technical and strategic policy advice and serve as honest brokers, with recommendations rooted in science and evidence. We mobilize resources, resolve operational bottlenecks, and work to generate political will for public health action at local, national and global levels.
Our team is leveraging engagement with the government health sectors in six countries—Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Senegal, Peru and Rwanda—to accelerate the detection and reporting of all COVID-19 deaths by age, sex and location from a network of sentinel sites.
Essential health services & supporting vulnerable groups
In addition to managing COVID-19 cases, health care workers must continue to provide communities with essential health services, such as treating malaria and diarrhea, providing vaccinations and maternity care, and caring for those with cancer and heart disease. Specific guidance and support is needed for vulnerable populations including individuals experiencing homelessness and people who use drugs.
Health care workers and Infection Prevention and Control
In low- and middle-income countries with limited hospital capacity, primary health care facilities are the frontlines of COVID-19 response. We have trained hundreds of health care workers and will maintain support and quality assurance and offer new trainings.
COVID-19 in urban settings
The Partnership for Healthy Cities—supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with WHO and Vital Strategies—provides 70 cities with technical and financial assistance to implement interventions to reduce noncommunicable diseases and injuries. We are now leveraging relationships with participating cities to connect to their COVID-19 response operations; provide information, tools and guidance; facilitate direct technical assistance and intercity exchanges; and offer mini-grants for specified response activities.
Data for response to COVID-19
In order to have an adaptive, data-driven response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments need timely data and analysis. Our Epidemic Intelligence Unit produces tools, guidance and analysis on disease transmission and more.
Public health law in COVID-19 response
Many countries have limited legislation in place to support detection, prevention and response to infectious diseases. Our legal and advocacy program equips cities and countries to review their existing legal framework rapidly, fill gaps, and ensure that public health and social measures to address COVID-19 are implemented with international legal and ethical standards.
Communicating with communities
Public health and social measures are most effective against COVID-19 when supported by timely and transparent communication with the public. Our COVID-19 Communication Center produces high-quality, evidence-based communication materials for a variety of audiences, and supports governments to develop effective risk communications strategy.
Public health and social measures
Public health and social measures (PHSMs) are the only available tool for governments to reduce deaths from COVID-19, but they must be managed carefully. We work with partners to develop guidance and analysis for countries to implement PHSMs according to key considerations.
Our Prevent Epidemics team provides technical assistance to at-risk countries directly or through partners, mobilizes resources to support preparedness, and catalyzes political to address gaps. Most countries are not ready for the next health threat, as COVID-19 has demonstrated.
Contact tracing and public health capacity building
In the United States, we are supporting the deployment and scale up of contact tracing efforts in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Johns Hopkins University. This will involve strengthening the technical and operational capacity of local public health departments, including developing three apps, to carry out high-impact contact tracing to reduce the spread of infection and allow for the safe reopening of various sectors of society as soon as possible.
Success in action
Countries around the world are working hard to protect their people from COVID-19. See examples of success in action.
COVID-19 and future epidemics concern us all: citizens, activists, journalists, local and global health leaders. All have a role to play in helping the world better prepare and respond, and the time to act is now.