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Statement from Jose Luis Castro, President & CEO of Vital Strategies on the WHO’s Joint Statement of the Steering Committee for the International Year of Health and Care Workers

“As we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we must do all that we can to support and protect our health care workers. From the earliest days of the pandemic, when very little was known about COVID-19, front-line health care workers have risked their lives to protect ours at a great cost. A new WHO working paper estimates that between 80,000 and 180,000 health and care workers may have died from the virus.

Vital Strategies has been honored to play a key role in training health workers around the world, including on infection control. Health workers make the vision of Vital Strategies – to ensure that everyone has a strong public health system – and the sustainable development goals possible. 

Vital Strategies applauds and fully supports the WHO’s Joint Statement of the Steering Committee for the International Year of Health and Care Workers which outlines three concrete steps we must all support to protect health and care workers.

  1. Strengthen data collection and reporting on infections, ill-health and deaths among health and care workers due to COVID-19;
  2. Protect health and care workers during and beyond the current global COVID-19 pandemic; and
  3. Accelerate the vaccination of all health and care workers in all countries.

Our health and care workforce is the key to ending this pandemic and creating a strong public system. Without their sacrifices and tireless efforts, thousands of more lives would have been lost. We need to do all that we can to make sure they are supported and protected.”

About Vital Strategies:

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. Our programs reach into 73 countries and help prevent death and illness from noncommunicable disease, reduce harm caused by environmental factors, and support cities as engines for public health. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat. 

Media Contact:

Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies:; +1-914-424-3356

Ally Davis, Vital Strategies:; +1-516-205-4203