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Weekly Roundups

Health Access, Quality with International Cooperation

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 07/29/2021 - 14:37

This week, the sector identified trade barriers and solidarity challenges as it addressed the COVID-19 third wave. Mexico accelerated its vaccination program in the face of COVID-19 variant that targets the young, but authorities keep insisting on in-person school classes and not vaccinating children.

Here is the week in health!

Vaccinating Children

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell have discarded vaccinating children and adolescents over 12 years old. During a morning press conference, they suggested that behind the suggestion to vaccinate children were commercial interests of pharmaceutical companies.

Vaccinating children has been a debated subject, as countries have made different decisions depending on local trends. For instance, the US has registered higher numbers of severe COVID-19 cases among this young population, leading the CDC to prioritize vaccinating children over 12 years old. The WHO has urged richer countries to donate those vaccines to poorer countries that have not vaccinated their high-risk population.

Primary Health Care to be Strengthened

The new WB´s report “Walking the Talk: Reimagining Primary Health Care After COVID-19” explains the pathway to revitalize primary health care and make it more supportive and effective to overcome the current crisis. WB points to primary health care (PHC) as the base of the structural transformation necessary after the health system collapsed during the pandemic. The report highlights the importance of strengthening local systems one community at a time. In Mexico, care providers such as Christus Muguerza are also prioritizing PHC to strengthen their care provision through innovative solutions that aim to enhance local care.

Trade Barriers Challenge Access to Health

A recent report by WTO exposed how trade regulations meant to protect consumers might be backfiring in the fight against COVID-19. These bottlenecks could cause delays in products such as COVID-19 vaccines, pharmaceutical drugs to treat the virus and personal protection equipment, and might put human lives at risk. In the face of this news, WTO’s Director General Okonjo-Iweala said that more trade cooperation is needed to address supply bottlenecks, lower regulatory hurdles, facilitate trade and finance vaccine purchases. “Keeping global markets open is essential for a strong and sustained recovery. The organizations and Members that have cooperated on the Aid for Trade initiative have made a huge difference in peoples' lives.”

Olympic Games Report Record COVID-19 Cases

Tokyo registered record COVID-19 numbers driven by the Delta variant and authorities have asked hospitals to prepare more beds for patients. Al Jazeera reports that the Games’ organizers were keen to detach the event from the latest caseload figures. So far, new cases directly associated with the games were down to seven, including two athletes, said organizers. This brings the total number of Olympic Games-related cases to 155, which have been confirmed through an extensive testing program that aimed to maintain safety during the games.

Merck Aims for Wider Medicine Access in Mexico

Investing on science and innovation while encouraging prevention is the new challenge of the pharmaceutical industry. Orlando Aguirre, Director of Government Sales, Market Access and Pricing of Merck Group, shared with MBN the new epidemiological trends and the company’s efforts to increase access and address Mexico’s health needs. 

A Third Wave of COVID-19

The COVID-19 third wave hitting Mexico has driven the country to accelerate its vaccination campaign, which slowed down during June and July. This week, the country applied over 1 million doses to young adults. This third wave is also imposing restriction on clubs or bars at states like Jalisco.

Mental Health Matters

Mental health came to the spotlight after the world’s best gymnastic, US’s Simone Biles, stepped back of some Olympics’ competitions citing her mental health. The American gymnast explained that these Games had been really stressful for her, to the point of forgetting to enjoy them. "I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and wellbeing,” said Biles.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst