Public-Private Partnerships in the Wake of COVID-19
As the outbreak of COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, evolves around the world, the public and private sectors are diligently working together to find solutions. Global biopharmaceutical companies are leading the way in developing new treatments and vaccines, while governments are directing resources where they are most needed, clearing obstacles and coordinating efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These public-private partnerships in Southeast Asia have also supported health care workers on the pandemic’s frontlines.
Following are a few examples of how biopharmaceutical companies and governments are contributing, beyond their traditional roles:
- Boehringer Ingelheim donated close to 10,000 euros of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through contributions to the Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association of the Philippines, and provides ongoing support to the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia and International Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group in Indonesia through PPE donations for medical workers. The company has also established the Employee Cooperative, where employees have made voluntary monetary donations to supply impacted families with hot meals and PPE.
- The Singaporean government contributed $500,000 USD to the World Health Organization’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19, which aims to limit further spread of the outbreak and protect states with weaker health systems. The government’s concern with the pandemic’s rapid spread has prompted its national health ministries to “work closely with the WHO and UN to explore how best we can contribute to the ongoing efforts.”
- The Thai government has agreed to waive all medical bills for those impacted by COVID-19, relieving patients and their families of any health expenses related to the pandemic. This announcement was signed by the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul as president of the National Health Security Office and posted by the Social Security Office.
- The Vietnamese government donated 500 COVID-19 test kits to the Indonesian government earlier this month. These tests were brought to the Prof. Dr. Sri Oemijati Infectious Disease Research Laboratory in central Jakarta, where they are being used to diagnose potential COVID-19 cases. Ibnu Hadi, the Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam, said these tests have improved efficiency, with their “high accuracy” and “short time.”
As the public and private sectors continue to play their essential roles, the world is relying on their coordination and collaboration to combat COVID-19.