Norway is leading the way to help ensure equal access to COVID-19 treatments, as well as developing a new, flagship initiative on noncommunicable diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) met virtually with the Government of Norway at the start of this month to discuss their annual strategic dialogue, with the objective of reviewing strategic challenges for WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key issues discussed in the meeting included universal health coverage, care management and risk reduction for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), and health emergencies preparedness and country readiness.
Leading the way
Norway is one of the WHO’s top 10 core voluntary donors and its flexible funding support goes toward helping the WHO address pockets of poverty, making it possible to fill critical gaps to provide health interventions to the most vulnerable populations, as well as allowing for quick action by allocating funds when and where they are needed most.
Ms Jane Ellison, WHO Executive Director for External Relations and Governance, said: “Norway has been a stalwart supporter of global health issues for decades, paving the way to strengthen health systems in lower- and middle-income countries, as shown by the country’s leadership of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All framework.
“And now within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Norway is playing a key role in ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 tools. WHO is deeply grateful to the Government of Norway for its leadership and pioneer work, acting as an example during the pandemic.”
Norway is also a pioneer in the area of NCDs and has initiated the development of a flagship initiative on NCDs in the context of development co-operation. This is a first of its kind, setting out a model of engagement across WHO divisions and the three levels of the organisation.
More in-depth discussions on this new strategy will take place in the first quarter of 2021.