OUR WORK ON COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. It also has a big impact on the content of our work. Below you can find our COVID-19 related news articles, blogs and other communication materials.

News

March 25, 2021 – Video: make pooling of patents and knowledge work to end the pandemic

March 12, 2021 – Election countdown: ‘building back better’ with a global health strategy

February 25, 2021 – Election debate: the Netherlands and sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide

February 19, 2021 – The Medicines Debate in De Balie

February 17, 2021 – The pandemic and the strong government’s comeback

February 16, 2021 – The Great Foreign Policy Debate

February 4, 2021 – Global vaccine scarcity unnecessary if pharma shares knowledge

Jan 21, 2021 – Why the Netherlands must invest more in development cooperation and global health

Jan 5, 2021 – Towards health for all in the year of corona: our highlights of 2020

Dec 21, 2020 – The Global Financing Facility in Uganda through a pandemic lens

Dec 8, 2020 – Wemos in debate at De Balie: A vaccin for everyone?

Nov 25, 2020 – Wemos in EenVandaag: Patent protection COVID-19 vaccine affects low- & middle-income countries 

Oct 23, 2020 – New HSAP video: this is why strong health systems matter

Oct 14, 2020 – Analysis and policy recommendations on the accountability at the EMA

Oct 6, 2020 – Over 500 organisations and academics call on IMF to stop promoting austerity in coronavirus recovery period

Oct 2, 2020 – How COVID-19 test kit producer Qiagen receives public money but avoids taxes

Sept 29, 2020 – European Health Forum Gastein 2020: UHC and the role of the health workforce

Sept 2, 2020 – Political youth and civil society organisations demand socially responsible medicine development

July 1, 2020 – Kick-off webinar of the Dutch Global Health Alliance: local data, local decisions 

June 17, 2020 – Webinar: COVID-19 and the future of pharmaceuticals

June 9, 2020 – Invest in health systems strengthening to effectively respond to COVID-19 (including our position paper ‘COVID-19, SRHR and health systems’)

April 24, 2020 – 143 organisations urgently request health donors to support health worker recruitment in poor countries because it is key to fight COVID-19

April 21, 2020 – Testing coronavaccines in Africa? Dutch public radio asks Wemos

April 9, 2020 – The right to health worldwide

April 8, 2020 – The Netherlands supports a global ‘COVID-19 pool’

April 7, 2020 – World Health Day 2020: the (current) state of the world and our nurses

March 31, 2020 – Letter to Dutch cabinet: support ‘COVID-19 pool’

March 25, 2020 – Access to medicines & COVID-19: amplifying our message together

March 24, 2020 – COVID-19 shows why global solidarity is needed

We are at a cross-roads: we can either go for business-as-usual or choose to truly invest in the Universal Health Coverage agenda

Articles & blogs

January 21, 2021 – Ontwikkelingslanden ook verstoken van vaccinkennis (Dutch, letter in newspaper NRC)

January 8, 2021 – Geheimhouding bij vaccindeals ondermijnt vertrouwen van burgers (Dutch, opinion article in newspaper Trouw)

November 11, 2020 – On the COVID-19 pandemic and health worker shortages & mobility

October 13, 2020 – Plan voor toegankelijke, betaalbare medicijnen doodgepolderd in werkgroep (Dutch, published by Follow The Money)

August 17, 2020 – This is how we can counter vaccine nationalism (article in NVTG’s MTb magazine)

July 31, 2020 – Commentary in International Journal for Equity in Health: Axes of alienation: applying an intersectional lens on the social contract during the pandemic response to protect sexual and reproductive rights and health

June 9, 2020 – SRGR in tijden van corona (Dutch, published by Vice Versa)

June 2, 2020 – How to address SRHR at a time that it is considered an unaffordable luxury? (published by The Broker)

April 22, 2020 – Wereldwijde toegang tot een Covid-19 vaccin (Dutch, published by Vice Versa)

April 3, 2020 – Healthcare: a vital profession

April 2, 2020 – Zonder mondiale solidariteit komt corona als een boemerang bij ons terug (Dutch, published by Vice Versa)

March 27, 2020 – The answer to pandemics? Strong public health systems

March 24, 2020 – COVID-19 shows why global solidarity is needed

March 23, 2020 – Worldwide access to COVID-19 vaccine

Initiatives we support

Visit this page for an overview of (COVID-19 related) initiatives that have our support.

Photo: Miroslava Chrienova via Pixabay

Research shows Moderna’s triple jackpot: subsidies, high prices and tax avoidance

Research by SOMO in cooperation with Wemos reveals that Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna avoids taxes on the profits it generates with billions of public funding. First the pharmaceutical company receives government subsidies for the development of its vaccine, then it sells the vaccines to governments for high prices, and in the end it transfers the […]

Wemos joins the EU4Health Civil Society Alliance

Wemos has joined the EU4Health Civil Society Alliance. In this network, 28 European civil society organisations join forces to achieve a Europe in which every citizen can attain the highest possible level of health and has access to affordable and good care.

Have a look at our Year Overview 2020!

Our new Year Overview 2020 is out. It showcases the highlights of our work of the past year. Come and have a look!

Call to European public health community: push for sharing rights, know-how and technology

Wemos and EUPHA, the umbrella organization for public health associations and institutes in Europe, call upon public health experts to advocate sharing of patent rights, know-how and technology to maximize the production capacity of Covid-19 vaccines. In a joint statement, the two organizations stress that more certified pharmaceutical companies should be enabled to use their […]

SRHR-information box presented to committee for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

The committee for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation was presented with a so-called ‘Free Box’ in the Dutch House of Representatives this morning. A group of civil society organisations, including Wemos, offered this information box to draw attention to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in low and middle-income countries.

Waiver patent protections is an important step in the right direction

Wemos warmly welcomes the US government’s proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for a temporary waiver of patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. It is now up to the Netherlands and the European Union (EU) to follow suit. This patent waiver – which would temporarily lift patent protections – will give all pharmaceutical companies the […]

Webinar & report April 19: how do the Global Fund, GFF and Gavi coordinate their efforts to strengthen health systems?

During a joint interactive webinar on April 19th, Wemos and Cordaid – as part of the Dutch Global Health Alliance – will share our joint report’s main findings and recommendations on health systems strengthening coordination among the ‘3Gs’. The 3Gs are the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), the Global Alliance […]

Video: make pooling of patents and knowledge work to end the pandemic

To end the corona pandemic as quickly as possible, we need to maximize the production of Covid-19 vaccines. The few pharmaceutical companies that currently produce safe and effective vaccines, should share their patent rights and knowledge, so other manufacturers can produce vaccines as well. Governments and pharmaceutical companies around the world: make pooling work!

Let’s strengthen public financing and avoid the risky business of Public-Private Partnerships

Global actors such as the World Bank Group should focus on strengthening public health financing, and refrain from promoting Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) with commercial companies in healthcare because of associated risks, such as worsening existing inequalities. This is our request in our co-signed open letter (with nearly 100 signatories) to the World Bank Group, which […]

Election countdown: ‘building back better’ with a Global Health Strategy

Countries can effectively combat pandemics such as the current Covid-19 pandemic by making long-term investments in structural improvements in global health. This means that governments and their ministries must pursue policy coherence and reinforce each other’s programmes. As the 2021 Dutch general election is approaching, Wemos is advocating – with fellow members of the Dutch […]

Election debate: the Netherlands and sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide

The Netherlands plays a leading role in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the global arena. With the Dutch elections ahead (in March), the question arises: will the Netherlands maintain this role? Will SRHR remain a priority of Dutch development cooperation policy? On March 4 (14:00), Dutch MPs will discuss this topic during […]

The Medicines Debate in De Balie

How can we keep medicines accessible and affordable for everyone in the Netherlands and the rest of the world? Now that the Netherlands has made a remarkably slow start with its Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the topic of access to medicines is again high on the (political) agenda. So how can we improve this access to […]

The pandemic and the strong government’s comeback

Over the past year, the Covid-19 pandemic has confronted countries all over the world with their health systems problems, which are largely caused by decentralised governments, austerity measures and the introduction of market forces in health care. But the crisis therefore offers opportunities for a comeback of the concept of a strong government with a […]

The Great Foreign Policy Debate

Corona has shown that global health has a major impact on the rest of the world. In the run-up to the elections, various politicians will discuss the future role of the Netherlands in the world during the Great Foreign Policy Debate (24 February, 5:30 pm). Led by Sophie Derkzen (Bureau Buitenland, VPRO) and under the […]

Global vaccine scarcity unnecessary if pharma shares knowledge

In a joint letter, 54 civil society organisations are calling upon the Dutch government to ensure that pharmaceutical companies share their knowledge of vaccine development with other companies in an existing pool of the World Health Organization (WHO). This should increase the global production and availability of Covid-19 vaccines and accelerate the end of the […]

Why the Netherlands must invest more in development cooperation and global health

In a petition, Dutch organisations, including Wemos, call on the Dutch government to increase their investments in development cooperation and global health during the next government term (2021-2025). Diseases are borderless, and this has become even more evident with the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore crucial that countries worldwide work together to make the world […]

Towards health for all in the Year of Corona: our highlights of 2020

What did Wemos do for global health in the year that global health was under severe threat? We advocated the sharing of knowledge on Covid-19 vaccines, raised awareness on the risks of commerce in health, developed a new programme on health worker mobility in Europe, and much more. Check the highlights of our advocacy work […]

Wemos in debate at De Balie: A vaccine for everyone?

In a broadcast of De Balie on December 7, Wemos’ global health advocate Tom Buis conducted a debate with Pia Dijkstra (Member of Parliament D66) and Bart van Zijll Langhout (Vice President Janssen) about the worldwide distribution of a corona vaccine.

Wemos in EenVandaag: patent protection Covid-19 vaccine affects low- & middle-income countries

It was a much-needed optimistic headline in recent days: the developments around the pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s new COVID-19 vaccine are in the final stages. However, Pfizer has so far refused to give up the vaccine’s patent protection. This limits production and increases the price per vaccine – threatening access and distribution in low- and middle-income […]

On the COVID-19 pandemic and health worker shortages & mobility

Human resources for health teamReflections on the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel This week, the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) is convening virtually to deliberate on core global health related challenges facing its Member States. Alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, a key challenge is the global shortage of health […]

New HSAP video: this is why strong health systems matter

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown what happens when countries’ health systems are unable to keep up with their populations’ public health needs. Malfunctioning, weak health systems need to be strengthened into responsive, well-functioning, properly staffed and sustainably financed systems. Not only for acute public health crises – but also to achieve access to sexual and […]

Over 500 organisations and academics call on IMF to stop promoting austerity in Coronavirus recovery period

More than 500 organisations and academics from 87 countries, including Wemos, have issued a statement today calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stop promoting austerity and instead support policies that advance gender justice, reduce inequality, and put people and planet first.

Coronavirus test manufacturer Qiagen evades tax and benefits from public funding

New research by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) shows that the German coronavirus test producer Qiagen has been able to dodge millions of euros in tax since 2010 thanks to tax avoidance constructions in Ireland, Luxembourg, the US and Malta. Qiagen is one of the world’s leading producers of coronavirus test kits […]

How COVID-19 test kit producer Qiagen receives public money but avoids taxes

New research by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) shows that the German coronavirus test producer Qiagen has been able to dodge millions of euros in tax since 2010 thanks to tax avoidance constructions in Ireland, Luxembourg, the US and Malta. Qiagen is one of the world’s leading producers of coronavirus test kits […]

Political youth and civil society organisations demand socially responsible medicine development

License to Heal, a coalition of political youth organisations, and civil society organisations Wemos and the Commons Network have chosen not to sign an agreement of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) on socially responsible licensing. Licensing is the process in which a knowledge institution gives legal permission to a private party to […]

This is how we can counteract vaccine nationalism

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, national governments have been scrambling to secure treatments and vaccines that are currently in development. These efforts, being dubbed the relatively new term ‘vaccine nationalism’, will ultimately hamper equitable access to much needed COVID-19 technologies. Countries should rather embrace a Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), says global health advocate Tom Buis in […]

Kick-off webinar of the Dutch Global Health Alliance: local data, local decisions

On July 2nd, the Dutch Global Health Alliance – a partnership of Amref Flying Doctors, Cordaid, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, and Wemos – will host its first webinar about the importance of collecting and using subnational health data for decision-making in low- and middle-income countries. Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 […]

Upcoming webinar: COVID-19 & the future of pharmaceuticals

Challenges around accessible and affordable medicines have become even more pressing in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. How can we ensure that publicly funded pharmaceuticals are accessible to patients in Europe and the rest of the world? And what changes do we need to see in EU policy? On Friday June 19th, Members of […]

Invest in health systems strengthening to effectively respond to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exposed the cracks in health systems worldwide – but particularly in low-income countries, e.g. in African countries. Our partner organisations in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda shared their concerns about developments on national level, such as the lack of information on COVID-19, health workforce shortages, and disruption of key […]

143 organisations urgently request health donors to support health worker recruitment in poor countries because it is key to fight COVID-19

Together with 143 civil society organisations, we call on the major funders in global health to prioritise international funding that supports recruitment of health workers in resource limited contexts. In a letter, we ask the funders to commit and contribute to pooled and adequate funding for long-term investments in the health workforce. This would address […]

Testing coronavaccines in Africa? Dutch public radio asks Wemos

On Sunday 19 April, the Dutch public radio channel NPO Radio 1 asked Wemos’ Global Health Advocate Ella Weggen  whether testing a corona vaccine in Africa is a good idea.

The right to health worldwide

“A woman who was about to give birth came in,” said Deborah, an obstetrician in Malawi. After giving birth, she started to bleeding a lot, and this continued throughout the night. We did everything we could to stop the bleeding. But when she finally did, she had already lost a lot of blood. Since we […]

The Netherlands supports a global ‘Covid-19 pool’

The Netherlands gives its support to a global pool for rights on data, knowledge and intellectual property on Covid-19 that can be freely shared. Last week Wemos sent a letter to the Dutch cabinet, on behalf of 38 civil society organisations, political youth organisations and 20 public health experts to request the Dutch government for […]

Healthcare: a vital profession

Human resources for Health team It is striking what a crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak can bring about. Five years ago, budget cuts severely restricted funding for long-term care, home care and youth care in the Netherlands. Many care organisations went bankrupt and 80,000 care workers lost their jobs. Then the economy started booming […]

Letter to Dutch cabinet: Support ‘Covid-19 pool’

Yesterday, Wemos sent a letter on behalf of 38 civil society organisations, political youth organisations and 20 public health experts to Minister Van Rijn (Medical Care), Minister Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) and Minister Wiebes (Economic Affairs and Climate) with the call to support the worldwide ‘Covid-19 pool’. The organisations call for free sharing […]

The answer to pandemics? Strong public health systems

Finance for Health team Covid-19 demands a rapid response, while investing in public health systems is as important as ever. International financial institutions like the World Bank therefore need to see these uncertain times as the prime opportunity to take measures aimed at social protection, strong public services, decent work, tax justice, and progressive financing […]

Access to medicines & COVID-19: amplifying our message together

Wemos collaborates with other organisations to make our (joint) messages and advocacy stronger. Here are recent letters we have signed with others on access to medicines and COVID-19 – a crucial public health matter in these times.

Covid-19 shows why global solidarity is needed

In her new opinion article, Wemos director Mariëlle Bemelmans explains why the Covid-19 crisis shows the need for global solidarity. ‘There is no point in only improving our own health care, and neglecting it elsewhere, because a virus outbreak elsewhere will eventually reach us all in this globalised world.’

Worldwide access to Covid-19 vaccine

Tom Buis A Global Covid-19 Patent Pool could be the solution Researchers around the world are trying to develop treatments and vaccines against the new Covid-19 virus. This requires huge amounts of public and private funding and cooperation amongst many different organizations. Two potential risks may prevent everyone from accessing the vaccine. Firstly, the lack […]

Following Dutch COVID-19 guidelines

At Wemos we follow the guidelines of the Dutch Government and the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means that all our staff is working from home as of 16 March.