The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an immediate health and development crisis in all countries. It has revealed the fragility and existing weaknesses and inequalities within and among nations. But it has also highlighted the importance of resilient health systems and universal health coverage, underpinned by equity.

Given the urgent and immediate needs as a result of the ongoing crisis, ADP partners have focused attention on helping low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to strengthen their national COVID-19 responses and ensure equitable access to, and delivery of vaccines as they become available.

Regulation and safety monitoring of
COVID-19 technologies

ADP is helping to ensure that national regulatory authorities in LMICs receive updated information on the status of clinical trials and authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines, resulting in rapid approval of these vaccines following WHO Emergency Use Listing.

ADP has also focused on promoting active surveillance of adverse events for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, as part of its efforts to strengthen pharmacovigilance capacity.

Digital solutions to address COVID-19 related challenges

The use of digital tools has gained greater importance in the face of the challenges arising from the travel and movement restrictions during the pandemic. In this context, ADP is focusing on reinforcing its work on strengthening capacities for core access and delivery functions through the identification and roll-out of innovative and suitable digital technologies that can address health system gaps and respond to needs in LMICs.

ADP supported the introduction of digital systems for the distribution, delivery and beneficiary tracking of COVID-19 vaccines which contributed to the safe, rapid and equitable deployment of vaccines in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia and Nepal.

Mitigating impact of COVID-19 on disease control programmes

Concurrently, ADP has also worked with country partners to mitigate COVID-related disruptions to other essential health programmes and services, especially those addressing tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases. This includes the support provided to research teams from Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal on conducting implementation research that aims at quantifying the impact of the pandemic on the availability of medicines and diagnostics, and patient care of major disease control programmes; evaluating the effectiveness of a range of innovative interventions, including community-based modalities and new screening algorithms; and exploring the use of digital solutions for remote monitoring of patient health status, promoting treatment adherence and ensuring the continuum of care.