• By Rhoda Madson

COVID-19 pandemic highlights lessons learned in addressing global health equity

April 6, 2021
a stethoscope with a small globe resting on the table, too, representing world health

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how connected and dependent people are in terms of collective global health, says G. Anton Decker, M.B., B.Ch., president of Mayo Clinic International.

Global health equity is a key focus of the World Health Organization's World Health Day, which will be recognized on Wednesday, April 7. For Mayo Clinic, the pandemic has highlighted three lessons to improve health equity, Dr. Decker says.

"We've learned so much from the pandemic. Firstly, we've learned that the world needs a trusted source of knowledge," Dr. Decker says. "But knowledge by itself is not enough. It's only useful when it can work on a foundation of partnerships, people, processes and technology."

No single entity has all the answers, though. The greatest opportunities emerge when you join forces and learn from one another, Dr. Decker says.

"We are better when we work together," Dr. Decker says. "When the world combines its knowledge and resources and ingenuity, we start getting amazing results."

As the global health community manages COVID-19, it still faces other health challenges, including communicable and noncommunicable diseases, Dr. Decker says.

"So once again, the world is looking for a trusted source of knowledge to help us get on top of these conditions, whether it's COVID-19-related or non-COVID-19-related."

The newly established Mayo Clinic Platform creates a framework for scientists around the world to access secure de-identified health data that can advance new cures and treatment.

"The world needs to be able to share knowledge, and what we're trying to do at Mayo Clinic is take the Mayo knowledge and information to the world but in new dimensions," Dr. Decker says. "And, so, many new inventions, technology, transportation, communication methods are making that possible."

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news. For information on COVID-19, including Mayo Clinic’s Coronavirus Map tracking tool, which has 14-day forecasting on COVID-19 trends, visit the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Resource Center.

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