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Sightsavers’ director joins Lancet Commission on COVID-19

November 2020
A man wearing a mask gives a demonstration to distributors in a school classroom.

Sightsavers’ director of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), Simon Bush, has joined a new international COVID-19 task force set up by The Lancet.

The task force on ‘Public Health Measures to Suppress the Pandemic’ is part of The Lancet COVID-19 Commission and will analyse effective non-pharmaceutical interventions which have allowed some countries to successfully contain COVID-19. These interventions will be compared with those in other countries which have been less successful.

The findings will then be used by the group of experts from 12 countries to engage global governmental and non-governmental leaders in the promotion of best practices for the control of the pandemic, as well as the protection of basic social needs and the recovery of the global economy.

“I think what I can bring to the table is Sightsavers’ hands-on experience of health system strengthening and the huge network of community health workers in the countries where we work. They are an under-utilised resource and there is an understanding that critical answers to the pandemic lie in the community,” said Bush, who is one of two UK representatives on the Commission.

The new commission plans to release two peer-reviewed reports in February and September next year. They will outline its findings and also set out clear and consistent guidelines to help all countries with their public health responses to COVID-19.

A man washes his hands.

Responding to COVID-19

Once it became clear that the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities we use to combat NTDs could help stop the spread of COVID-19, we immediately got to work.

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