The WHO is a global entity with the main mission of supporting public health needs in line with the UN agency mission,
Headquartered in Geneva, the Foundation has among their missions to support the implementation of WHO's five-year strategic plan, to protect 1 billion people from health emergencies; extend universal health coverage to 1 billion people and assure healthy lives and wellbeing to 1 billion people by 2023.
The appointment of Ms Akamanzi to sit in the board of WHO Foundation comes a few months after the UN agency initiated a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Solidarity Response Fund as a means of raising money from a wide range of donors to support the work of the WHO.
The fund, the first-of-its-kind, enables private individuals, corporations and institutions anywhere in the world to come together to directly contribute to global response efforts, and has been created by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, together with WHO, it said.
Currently, the fund managed to secure major support already lined up, including from Facebook and Google who have instituted a matching scheme for funds raised through their platforms, while individual donors are also supporting the initiative.
It is expected that funds will go towards actions outlined in the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to enable all countries – particularly those most vulnerable and at-risk, and with the weakest health systems – to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 crisis including rapidly detecting cases, stopping transmission of the virus, and caring for those affected.
Currently, WHO and its partners are seeking financing for protective equipment for frontline health workers, to equip diagnostic laboratories, improve surveillance and data collection, establish and maintain intensive care units, strengthen supply chains, accelerate research and development of vaccines and therapeutics and take other critical steps to scale up the public health response to the pandemic.