Skip to content ↓
CEO Perspective

Spotlight: Public Health Takes Center Stage

In December, the city of Bengaluru, India launched a 3Ws communication campaign (Wear a mask, Wash your hands, Watch your distance) supported by the Partnership for Healthy Cities that included posters and audio messages mounted on garbage trucks and other city vehicles. Signage also went up at the city’s main markets and bus terminals and at four prominent intersections, with the messaging running on radio stations as well.

2020 was the year that changed everything. The pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic put public health center stage, and exposed the underinvestment and holes in preparedness that left millions vulnerable to a deadly virus. At the same time, millions of people around the world are facing risks to their overall health as weakened health systems struggle to cope. Vital Strategies worked to support governments so they can respond to coronavirus while maintaining essential services and protections to mitigate multiple health risks, from overdose prevention to tuberculosis control to road safety.

—José Luis Castro 
President and CEO, Vital Strategies 

We’ve curated some of our related videos, statements, reports and blogs.

What To Watch  

2020 saw our VitalTalks series go virtual, bringing renowned public health speakers who delved into some of the most pressing public health issues of our time and considered where we go from here—including preparing for the next epidemiccountering global food insecurity, and fulfilling the promise that cities can lead the way into a healthier future.

Watch all of our VitalTalks  

Expert Focus 

Tracking Data to Tackle Cancer: Q&A with the Cancer Registries Program

Q&A with Adam Karpati on Mental Health

Urban Leadership in Response to COVID-19 Harkens a Healthier Future: Q&A with Ariella Rojhani

CEO Perspective  

A New Administration Offers a New Beginning

A Devastating Milestone: Global COVID-19 Death Toll Reaches One Million

Why Road Safety is a Critical Public Health Issue

How Nonprofits Can Plan Look Ahead and Plan in Uncertain Times (Forbes)

We Must Make Change Happen

COVID’s Toll Beyond the Pandemic

Global Policy 

How 5 Countries Furthered Tobacco Control During COVID-19

Lessons from South Africa’s Campaign for a Tax on Sugary Beverages

Advancing LGBTI Rights in Peru Through Civil Registration Reform

How Turkey’s Game-Changing Legislation Delivers Powerful Free Airtime for Anti-Tobacco Campaigns

Vital Stories

How 2020 Transformed Public Health and Ways We Can Move Ahead Stronger

Cities are Leading Us Through the Pandemic. Here’s What We Can Learn From Them

5 Ways We’re Using Data to Address Public Health Disparities

What is the True Toll of COVID-19? To Answer That Question, Strengthen Civil Registration Systems

Urban Health

Case Studies from Cities on the Front Lines of the Pandemic

Winning Trust in the Age of COVID-19: Mayors Trade Real World Successes


The Sobering Truth: Incentivizing Alcohol Death and Disability

What’s in Our Food? A Guide to Introducing Effective Front-of-Package Nutrient Labels

Live COVID-19 Safe: An adaptable campaign toolkit

Through the Smokescreen: Public Knowledge and Attitudes on Air Quality and Its Health Impacts in India