WHO, Costa Rica to launch tech platform pooling resources on Covid-19 health products from across the globe

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 16, 2020 Published on May 16, 2020

The World Health Organization along with Presidents Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica and Sebastián Piñera of Chile on Friday announced that it will soon be launching a tech pooling initiative to aggregate all resources on health products related to Covid-19.

The intuitive is meant to “to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products against COVID-19.”

The idea was first proposed by the Costa Rica President at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and several countries are now backing the proposal, WHO said.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, President Alvarado asked me to set up a health technology repository for vaccines, medicines, diagnostics and any other tool that may work against COVID-19,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing.

“WHO has accepted this visionary proposal from his excellency President Alvarado and will, in the next few weeks, launch a platform for open, collaborative sharing of knowledge, data and intellectual property on existing and new health tools to combat COVID-19,”’ he added.

The proposal calls for solidarity among authorities and academics of nations across the globe to contribute to this digital information pool in order to enable global access to Covid-19 health products.

“The platform will pool data, knowledge and intellectual property for existing or new COVID-19 health products to deliver ‘global public goods’ for all people and all countries,” WHO said in a statement.

“Our proposal relies on solidarity,” said President Alvarado of Costa Rica. “It’s a Solidarity call to action to Member States, to academia, to companies, research institutions and cooperation agencies, based on global social responsibility, on a voluntary basis, promoting more global nonexclusive voluntary licensing.”

It will be an open platform where companies will be able to access the information they need to produce the technologies required to combat the outbreak. It is meant to help scale these technologies on a global level, lowering costs and increasing access.

“We need to unleash the full power of science, without caveats or restrictions, to deliver innovations that are scalable, usable, and benefit everyone, everywhere, at the same time,” said the WHO chief.

“Traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe. Solidarity within and between countries and the private sector is essential if we are to overcome these difficult times,” he said.

WHO and Costa Rica will officially launch the platform on May 29 and will publish a ‘Solidarity Call to Action’ on WHO’s website for governments, research and development funders, institutions and companies to sign up and join the initiative.

Published on May 16, 2020

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