Here's the latest info shared by WHO's Adriana Velázquez regarding Medical Devices and the World Health Organization (February 2021).
Dear colleagues, hoping you are doing well and safe, please find below the latest information on Oxygen, Essential in vitro diagnostics, and Radiotherapy.
Launch of the COVID-19 Oxygen Emergency Taskforce, 25 February
COVID-19 oxygen emergency impacting more than half a million people in low- and middle-income countries every day, as demand surges. More information: https://www.who.int/news/item/25-02-2021-covid-19-oxygen-emergency-impacting-more-than-half-a-million-people-in-low--and-middle-income-countries-every-day-as-demand-surges
“Recognising the central importance of sustainable oxygen supply – alongside therapeutic products such as dexamethasone – for the treatment of COVID-19, the Access to COVID Tools Accelerator Therapeutics pillar (co-led by Unitaid and Wellcome), is taking a new role to coordinate and advocate for increased supply of oxygen, and, in partnership with a WHO-led consortium , is today announcing the launch of a COVID-19 Oxygen Emergency Taskforce.
It is estimated that more than half a million people in LMICs currently need 1.1 million cylinders of oxygen per day , with 25 countries currently reporting surges in demand, the majority in Africa.
This supply was constrained prior to COVID-19 and has been exacerbated by the pandemic.”
“Oxygen is an essential medicine, and despite being vital for the effective treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, access in LMICs is limited due to cost, infrastructure, and logistical barriers.
Health facilities often cannot access the oxygen they require, resulting in the unnecessary loss of lives.”
 As part of the UN COVID-19 Supply Chain System, a technical biomedical procurement consortium was set up under the coordination of WHO, including ALIMA, BMGF, IMC, MSF, UNDP, UNHCR, Unicef, UNOPS, USAID, and WFP.
Approximately US$150m of oxygen-related biomedical products and consumables have been delivered to 149 countries over the last year.
“Oxygen is an essential medicine used to care for patients at all levels of the healthcare system, including in surgery, trauma, heart failure, asthma, pneumonia and maternal and child care”. Related publications: https://www.who.int/teams/health-product-and-policy-standards/access-to-assistive-technology-medical-devices/medical-devices/oxygen
2. Launch of the 3rd Essential in vitro diagnostic list and
On 29 January 2021, the launch of the 3rd WHO Model List of Essential in vitro Diagnostics (EDL) took place. The EDL provides guidance based on the latest evidence, to countries for creating or updating their national lists of essential IVDs.
Please find the new publication, infographics, brochures, video, and a new online database for you, at: https://www.who.int/medical_devices/diagnostics/selection_in-vitro/en/
Deadline: 31 March 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) invites highly qualified experts to submit their application to become members of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE IVD), an advisory body to WHO on matters of global policies and strategies related to IVDs including the ones pertaining to WHO Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics. SAGE IVD members are appointed for 2 years and can be re-appointed once.
3. Launch of WHO IAEA Technical specifications for radiotherapy equipment
Please join us for this virtual event to discuss the importance of radiotherapy in cancer control, current challenges, and how this new publication can support countries in the procurement of essential radiotherapy equipment.
You are invited to a Zoom webinar. When: Friday, March 5, 2021, 01:30 to 2:30 PM CET (Central European Time - Geneva). Topic: Launch of IAEA-WHO Publication on Radiotherapy Equipment Specifications to Fight Cancer.
Register in advance for this webinar: https://who.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RUEhtzukQju3Yfkd0iPADQ
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Many thanks, best regards & stay safe!
Adriana Velazquez Berumen, MSc. | Biomedical Clinical Engineer | Team Lead Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics, MDD | Health Product Policy and Standards Department, HPS | Access to Medicines and Health Products Division, MHP | World Health Organization, WHO | Geneva, Switzerland
Web: www.who.int | www.who.int/medical_devices/en/ | Follow WHO on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.