With the number of cases around the world increasing daily, the onslaught of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a massive threat to the various sectors within the Eastern Caribbean. This pandemic emphasizes the need for greater collaboration and a progressive movement towards sustainable development among its Member States. Ahead of the first Sustainable Development Summit (SDM2020) scheduled for later this year, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission says the event is designed to bring heads, hands and hearts together, with a determination to provoke regional harmonization and a paradigm shift.
The Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules says, “Life, as we know it, has been drastically changed and as a consequence of this pandemic, we are examining all possibilities; and galvanizing our efforts in the fight against this disease, which will help us ensure that when the time is right, we are safe enough to convene for the SDM Summit.”
Channeling resources through the Commission’s Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) system – a proven economic strategy used by the Commission for many years – is one of several strategies being employed by the OECS Commission in response to the COVID disease.
The OECS was nimble at scaling up these activities under the PPS model to conduct swift mass purchasing of critical medical supplies to be distributed across the region. The system leverages economies of scale for the Member States and ensures equitable availability and affordability of essential drugs for citizens, health organizations and retailers. This mass purchasing helps both citizens and organizations prepare for longer periods of self-isolation and possible worldwide shortage of essential drugs and testing supplies.