INCB joins WHO in celebrating nurses and other health professionals for World Health Day

VIENNA, 7 April - On the occasion of World Health Day, the International Narcotics Control Board joins the World Health Organization in celebrating the work of nurses, and health professionals in general, in providing treatment and care to people who need it most, in particular in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During these times, Governments are called upon to support this crucial part of the workforce, who deserve our outmost appreciation and respect.

The Board takes this opportunity to reiterate its call to Governments to ensure global availability of and access to controlled medicines for all COVID-19-related medical needs, including sedatives and analgesics for intubation protocols, as well as those related to pain relief and palliative care for oncological treatments, for mental health and neurological conditions, and for the treatment of drug use disorders and non-communicable diseases. It is essential for all countries and territories to maintain sufficient buffer stocks of controlled substances to guarantee availability of those medicines throughout the duration of the pandemic, and to facilitate the rapid export and import of these substances to areas lacking them.

World Health Day is also an opportunity to reflect on progress made towards achieving sustainable development goal (SDG) 3, Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and the significant work that remains to achieve it. The Board reiterates that access to and availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes remains essential in meeting SDG3 and calls upon governments to ensure that their legislative and regulatory frameworks provide for continued trade in controlled substances while preventing diversion as well as ensuring the rational use of these substances.

Reiterating full support to the competent national authorities, particularly during these difficult times, the Board and its secretariat will continue providing assistance during the pandemic and onwards. Competent national authorities are invited to keep in close contact with the INCB secretariat.

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For further information, please contact:

INCB Secretariat 
Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163 
Email:  incb.secretariat[at]un.org

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