Coalition of health and social work professions formed to promote global vaccine access

International organisations representing the global health and social work workforces join together to advocate for global equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccine and increase the health and social protection workforce.

More than 20 international organisations representing the global health and social work workforces have formed a coalition to advocate for worldwide equitable access to vaccines.

The coalition is also urging for an increase to the health care, public health, and social protection workforces and to engage civil societies, patient organizations, and the broader public in the decision-making processes.

“This is the first time that the worldwide workforces of health and social work have bound together to take a stand on equality of health and social protection,” International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) Secretary-General, Rory Truell, commented.

“This action will have significant implications for the World Health Assembly, the G20, and every government. IFSW and the coalition of partners are committed to continuing its advocacy until these goals are met.”

A statement from the coalition reads: “Around the world, governments are struggling to find ways to work together and control the spread of COVID-19. The virus does not recognize national boundaries.”

“Rather, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing health disparities between and within countries born from social, economic, and political inequity.”

“The organizations will dedicate themselves to continue compiling resources, sharing evidence-based best practices, and using their collective voice to advocate for those who are disproportionately harmed by the pandemic.”

The announcement comes as social work organisations around the world celebrate World Social Work Month, with World Social Work Day taking place on 16 March.

The theme for the 2021 World Social Day celebrations is Ubuntu, or “I am because we are”.

IFSW says that Ubuntu is a concept and philosophy that “resonates with the social work perspective of the interconnectedness of all peoples and their environments. It speaks to the need for global solidarity and highlights indigenous knowledge and wisdom.”

“At a time when global politics has retreated into nationalism, Ubuntu is a powerful message on the need for solidarity at all levels: within communities, societies and globally,” said IFSW President Silvana Martinez.

“It is a message that all people are interconnected and that our future is dependent on recognizing all peoples’ involvement in co-building a sustainable, fair and socially just future.”

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