The 3 July is the International Day of Cooperatives, which this year is dedicated to the theme «Rebuild Better Together». Through this celebration, cooperatives around the world wanted to show how they have faced the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic with solidarity and resilience, and to offer their business model for a people-centred and environmentally just recovery.
The International Health Cooperative Organisation (IHCO), representing cooperative companies and organisations in the health sector throughout the world, wishes to express its concern about the difficulties of distribution of and access to covid-19 vaccines.
Accounting for more than 3.8 million deaths and 177 million cases, the covid-19 pandemic continues to cause terrible damage to health systems, economies and societies around the world.
The solution to the pandemic will not be final and no one will be safe until everyone is. We therefore need to ensure access to the vaccine without inequities either between or within countries.
The solution to the pandemic will not be final and no one will be safe until everyone is
The IHCO recognizes and supports the important work that the World Health Organisation and its partners are carrying out through the COVAX initiative and the ACT Accelerator, which through multilateral collaboration promotes the development and manufacture of vaccines against covid-19, promoting fair and equitable access in all countries of the world.
In line with the United Nations, the IHCO supports the temporary waiver of intellectual property rights related to covid-19 vaccines. The knowledge and technology shared by vaccine manufacturers will allow local production to be expanded and significantly increase supply to the COVAX initiative.
The IHCO also values and supports the resolution of the European Parliament of 10 June in relation to the temporary waiver of intellectual property rights in the field of vaccines, treatment and equipment related to covid-19 and increasing production and manufacturing capacity in developing countries.
The cooperative health movement calls on the leaders and governments of all countries to take a step forward, join forces and place all resources at their disposal to eradicate the corona virus and rebuild the world better together.
The health cooperatives represented by the IHCO express their willingness to collaborate with states and international organisations in reconstruction with the aim of achieving Universal Health Coverage, promoting cooperation and democratic participation in health systems and fostering equitable access to healthcare for all people.
Download the open letter addressed to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Download the open letter addressed to Mr António Guterres
This year’s General Assembly will be held online on 27 October. Please save this date in your calendars!
In the agenda, among other items, the renewal of the Board and the Presidency. Members will soon receive the agenda and full details on how to nominate candidates and participate in the meeting.
Delegates of health cooperatives from eleven countries took part in the General Assembly of the IHCO on 28 October. Because of covid-19, the organisation moved the gathering online.
«This has been a difficult year, especially for our sector,» lamented IHCO President Carlos Zarco, but the resilience to crises that cooperatives have shown over the years, and the current context of transformation provide health cooperatives «new opportunities to expand,» he added.
Dr Zarco also sent out a message of solidarity to those affected by the coronavirus and expressed a «well-deserved recognition to all those healthcare professionals who over the months have focused all their effort, commitment and dedication to addressing the health emergency.»
Member’s delegates detailed what the challenges are in dealing every day with the health emergency, and exchanged the lessons learned during past months struggling with the pandemic.
The assembly approved the President’s report and the financial statements. Delegates designed the work plan for next year as well. The organisation will focus on raise awareness of the potential contributions of the cooperative business model to health systems and facilitate inter-cooperation among members. It will aim at becoming a knowledge hub as well, collecting, producing and sharing information about health cooperatives.
The covid-19 pandemic has brought health services and healthcare workers into sharp focus. It has also brought to the forefront the continued challenges the developed world faces to meet the increasing needs of an ageing population, and healthcare inequity that low-income countries face as they struggle to expand health coverage.
Health cooperatives are uniquely positioned to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to «ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages», and improving universal health coverage.Continue reading