The 70th World Health Assembly was held from 22 to 31 May in Geneva. On this occasion, the Pasteur International Network association made its first statement (see below) during the session "Research and Development on Potentially Emerging Diseases" thanks to Nadia Khelef, representative of the Institut Pasteur at WHO.
The recognition in 2016 of Pasteur International Network association (page in French) as a non-state actor in official relations with WHO enables it to sit in the World Health Assembly and its executive bureau and thus increase the visibility of its actions toward the United Nations’ health institution and other major international stakeholders.
During the same meeting, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term beginning July 1st.
The series of dramatic outbreaks that occurred during the recent years (Ebola, Zika, MERS), with no appropriate diagnostics and no approved drugs or vaccines, have highlighted again the need for more R&D to better organize preparedness and response to epidemics.
Pasteur International Network Association (PINA) represents 33 institutes worldwide working in research, public health and education.
We support WHO efforts to accelerate R&D for potentially epidemic diseases and improve policy coherence across its actors.
Since its start, we have contributed to the R&D Blueprint consultations and activities, as well as to other WHO activities in the field during the most recent epidemics, for outbreak investigations, diagnostic development or validation, linking with countries and WHO.
As such, PINA acknowledges WHO’s leading role in this initiative and encourages WHO pursuing its actions to facilitate the development and delivery of appropriate tools that will hopefully diminish the burden on populations, save lives and minimize socioeconomic impact.
We believe that affordability and accessibility should be included in development plans for new medical tools related to diseases affecting poor populations, even if they have a potential
commercial market (ie Zika and MERS-CoV) and we encourage WHO to keep take positions supporting these goals.
We also acknowledge WHO’s efforts to establish a ‘Blueprint Global Coordination Mechanism’ with different entities, including PINA.