From “3 by 5” to COVAX: Redefining Success in Global Health Initiatives

By Candela Iglesias Chiesa

When is a failure not a failure? 

At Alanda we are all for setting targets, measuring results, and achieving those targets. However, sometimes projects that don’t reach their target still have a profound impact in our society. 

In my first article featured on Devex, I delve into a critical examination of COVAX, the global initiative aimed at providing equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. Despite its noble intentions, COVAX failed to reach its targets. But does this mean it’s destined to fade into obscurity?

As a young PhD student, I closely followed the “3 by 5” initiative against HIV/AIDS. The goal was ambitious: to provide life-saving treatment to 3 million people by 2005. However, like COVAX, it faced heavy criticism and ultimately missed its mark.

Yet, the legacy of 3 by 5 was profound. It challenged existing norms and shifted the paradigm of what was deemed acceptable in treatment for people with HIV. Excuses related to the difficulties of reaching rural populations or weak health systems were no longer tolerated. The imperative to extend life-saving treatments to those in low-income countries became non-negotiable.

In my article, I explore whether COVAX might leave a similar game-altering mark on the global health landscape. I invite you to read and share your thoughts on the potential legacy of COVAX. Let’s spark a conversation about its impact and what it means for the future of global health equity.

You can read the full article on Devex (you need a free account to read it in full, it’s easy to sign up). 


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