It’s been one year since the launch of #VaccinesWork and the beginning of emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdowns, travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders. Today, we cast the spotlight on the various ways in which different countries have responded to not only COVID-19, but also other public health challenges that continue to persist amid the pandemic. The following ten articles published on #VaccinesWork over the past year highlight the varied responses to the unique challenges posed by COVID-19 around the world.
In most countries, national governments and public health officials have faced at least two key challenges since the start of the pandemic. On the one hand, routine immunisation services have been severely disrupted, leaving millions of children without potentially life-saving vaccinations. Transport interruptions, restrictions on internal movement, and heightened fears over contracting COVID-19 in public spaces continue to act as obstacles that prevent or deter countless individuals and families from visiting health clinics.
On the other hand, managing COVID-19 itself presents unique policy challenges to countries. Although many have decided on their containment measures by looking towards those implemented by the first set of affected countries, no two countries are the same. This means that, even as we all now look towards COVID-19 vaccine rollouts to protect populations and stop the spread of the virus, countries will still need to chart their own path in sustainably coping with COVID-19.
These challenges are not impossible to overcome and the progress being made by countries to tackle them contribute to the much larger effort to end the global crisis, so that everyone is safe and healthy both from COVID-19 and other existing diseases. From Guinea dealing with an Ebola outbreak and Ghana launching a polio campaign, to India adapting its digital track and trace systems, here’s how countries around the world are trying to overcome these twin challenges: