Posted: June 30, 2020

All Hands on Deck: A synchronized approach to fighting COVID-19

Girija Sankar

Rubina Imtiaz, CWW Director

In a new paper published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, Rubina Imtiaz, MBBS, CWW Director, and other global public health experts called for a unified response to the coronavirus pandemic. Calling it an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, the experts proposed a list of tools and institutional mechanisms to advance the unified approach. The publication drew on experiences from previous epidemic outbreaks like the Ebola outbreaks and the successes of multilateral platforms like the NTD Supply Chain Forum, facilitated by CWW, to form a global, COVID-19 mitigation framework with tools for a collaborative pandemic response. Reflecting on the role of institutions, the authors offered the following example:

“[T]he Task Force for Global Health convened a virtual meeting across 46 global entities representing pharmaceutical commodity donors, implementing partners and shippers, under WHO leadership to assess and respond to anticipated interruptions in critical supply chain of deworming drugs. This rapid consultation across multilaterals and private sector entities helped rapidly access existing platforms such as the DHL Control Tower for Humanitarian Supply Chain to assist the movement of medical supplies and other essential drugs from China to the rest of the world.” (Ebrahim, Zhou, et al. 2020).

Dr. Imtiaz added that “examples like the NTD Supply Chain Forum, facilitated by CWW, show us the importance of a multilateral approach in mitigating global, public health crises by helping to rapidly adapt existing and new platforms and mechanisms for a response. During a global crisis like COVID-19, our response should not be the sole responsibility of one sector, but the responsibility of all sectors to work together.”

CWW has also been working with partners to assess delays to deworming, and other NTD campaigns. CWW is supporting national deworming programs to focus on those activities that can continue during the pandemic per WHO interim guidelines on community- and facility-based care.


Ebrahim, S. H., Zhuo, J., Gozzer, E., Ahmed, Q. A., Imtiaz, R., Ahmed, Y., Doumbia, S., Rahman, N., Elachola, H., Wilder-Smith, A., & Memish, Z. A. (2020). All Hands on Deck: A Synchronized Whole-of-World Approach for COVID-19 Mitigation. International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, S1201-9712(20)30484-7. Advance online publication.