Guidance Note: The Role of Country Platforms in Maintaining Essential Services and Delivering on the Investment Case in the time of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, rapidly becoming a major public health crisis. The response to the novel coronavirus must be equally swift, but at the same time it is important not to lose sight of the importance of maintaining the services that are essential for the health and nutrition of women, children, and adolescents. The Investment Case developed by the country platform sets out a vision for improving the lives of women, children, and adolescents. COVID-19 poses a dire threat to achievement of that vision.
The experience of the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15 and other crises have taught us that both the supply and demand for health services are likely to be impacted by COVID-19. New estimates by researchers based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggest that, under a scenario in which COVID-19 produces similar disruptions to what was seen in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak, these disruptions would result in the deaths of an additional 1.2 million children and 57,000 mothers from non-COVID-19 causes over just the next six months. The GFF has prepared brief notes that describe the potential impacts in each country, which are being distributed alongside this note.
These terrible scenarios can be avoided—but only if swift action is taken to maintain essential services for women, children, and adolescents. The country platform has a vital role to play in addressing this, in conjunction with the dedicated coordination structures that many countries have set up for COVID-19. This note sets out a series of questions for the country platform to consider as it adjusts implementation of the Investment Case in light of COVID-19.
This guidance note builds on work by partners such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA, Gavi, and the Global Fund. The note also highlights ways that the GFF can support countries.