Even while tackling COVID-19, it remains vitally important to ensure that other national health priorities – such as those related to combating tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases – are not at risk of neglect. It is crucial to adopt measures to both protect previous gains against these diseases and mitigate against any future reversals in progress towards related targets.

The Access and Delivery Partnership (ADP) is focused on addressing the most pressing and immediate health needs. Maintaining the most critical prevention activities and health care services, and minimizing disruptions during the pandemic, will also significantly reduce the indirect impacts of COVID-19, particularly among poor and marginalized populations.

ADP partners have thus adopted a two-pronged strategy: supporting national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing to bolster national health system capacities – each through the building of capacities and systems, and provision of essential technical advice and information.

Strengthened institutional and technical capacities help drive access to and delivery of affordable and quality assured medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools. This approach is in line with the overarching ADP goals and underscores the relevance of the specific focus of ADP on strengthening national health systems and their preparedness for health technology introduction.

Since its inception in 2013, ADP has supported governments and national stakeholders to strengthen health systems. This encompasses the promotion of key policies, processes and capacities along the value chain of access and delivery – from enabling policy and regulatory frameworks, to digital health and data management, implementation research, regulatory authorization, procurement and supply chain management, ultimately extending to service delivery and patient safety monitoring. Such a whole-of-government approach is also an essential element of coordinated and effective COVID-19 responses and helps build the foundation for greater pandemic preparedness in the future.