16 October 2020 – JAHEE World Leadership Dialogue at WCPH – Combating the dual challenges of COVID-19 and health inequalities

Organized by JAHEE and Eurohealthnet at the World Conference of Public Health

Achieving equity represents a major challenge for policy makers across the world, and the outbreak
of the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the unsustainable cost of health and social
inequalities to our societies. Inequalities have been both exacerbated and created by the pandemic
and its health and socio-economic impact. These consequences will affect vast numbers of medically
and socially vulnerable people for the years to come. They are very likely to have a devastating impact
on health and well-being through a wide range of social determinants of health including
unemployment, precarious working conditions and contracts, and in-work poverty, increase in
poverty and social exclusion, deprivation of education, inadequate housing, mental health problems,
and exposure to violence (especially against women and children). This health emergency
demonstrates that health and social inequalities represent a serious weakness for countries and
undermines their ability to face crises. However, this challenge also offers the opportunity to take
serious actions to put health equity at the core of the post-pandemic recovery process in order to
reform our national systems, making them more resilient to shocks and avoiding dramatic long-term
consequences of the pandemic.


Policy briefing JAHEE WLD