Director's Message: Turning the Tide of the Covid-19 Pandemic

large_JRimon 5.pngAt this moment, the global health community is working tirelessly on efforts to turn the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic.  First and foremost, we would like to thank all of you who are in this fight – especially our frontline health workers for their selfless and tireless work taking care of patients.

As the days of facing the COVID-19 pandemic turn into weeks and months, we want to assure you of the essential work being done to maintain critical Gates Institute operations worldwide. We are appreciative of your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we all navigate this rapidly evolving situation.

Although this is a time of great challenge and frustration, it is also a time for extraordinary leadership. The sexual and reproductive health community has the unique opportunity to play a significant role in the education, containment, and mitigation of this global pandemic.

We are faced with unprecedented times ahead, and we must challenge ourselves to rise up to the occasion and provide our expertise whenever and wherever possible. COVID-19 will have large and lasting implications for the family planning and reproductive health field in many areas, such as response, research, resource and commodity mobilization, service delivery, communication, gender-based violence, humanitarian settings, advocacy efforts and reproductive health policy.

I know that the greater reproductive health community is resilient, and we must unite to confront the pandemic by modifying and sharing applicable best practices, creating innovative solutions, and learning as much as possible about the immediate and long-term effects of this virus on our community, so that we may swiftly and effectively assess and address our shortcomings and make immediate improvements to better prepare and protect our communities worldwide to ensure that they continue to receive the quality reproductive healthcare they need.

In an effort to centralize and sort through the vast amount of information being disseminated by our trusted partners across the global reproductive health community, the Gates Institute has created a live database for reproductive health community-contributed COVID-19 resources (COVID-RHR Hub). This database houses a wide range of resources including action initiatives, health and safety advice/best practices and tools, community insight, government initiatives, research and academic publications, news/media, op-eds, multilateral initiatives, funding and grant opportunities, and online events/webinars.

We invite the reproductive health community to contribute resources for inclusion in the COVID-RHR Hub that are not currently on the list by submitting this form.

It is our hope that our collective contribution to this compilation of important resources will inform decisions and efforts of the public, governments/policymakers, donors and philanthropists, healthcare providers, researchers, and advocates crucial to a timely and effective response. The database is currently grouped by region, but can be filtered and sorted by each user based upon their own needs, and is regularly updated as new resources become available.

As public health professionals, it is our responsibility to lead the charge for friends, family and community in following public health guidelines to protect everyone.  On behalf of the Gates Institute, I thank you for your adaptability, selflessness, and compassion during this time. As always, our highest priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of all impacted by our work. We will stay in contact as the situation unfolds.

Keep healthy and safe.  We will overcome this.

Sincerely,

Jose “Oying” Rimon II
Director
Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health
Senior Scientist
Population Family and Reproductive Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health