Covid-19 is moving from a pandemic to an endemic disease. The virus will be with us for a long time to come, maybe forever. Dr. David Nabarro, special envoy of the World Health Organization, says we need to prepare for this with strong leadership – both local and global.

Global GoalsCast attends Dr. Nabarro’s latest briefing where he introduces us to health workers who have made a real difference controlling the virus and supporting those struck down by it in their local community. These include a nurse-run campaign to isolate and vaccinate in Nepal to a program in the United Kingdom to assist long-Covid sufferers.

“The sort of leadership that’s needed is leadership that connects,” John Atkinson, a specialist in systems change, tells Dr. Nabarro. “Leadership that doesn’t seek credit for itself. Leadership that knows there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you don’t give a damn who takes the credit.” Invisible leadership, Dr. Nabarro calls this.

Globally, Nabarro calls for a new approach from rich countries. “it’s ok to lead for the world,” he tells the leaders of the G7 countries, explaining that protecting just their own constituents won’t work. He argues that rich countries should stop holding vaccines for booster doses when poor countries still need first doses. Protecting the vulnerable everywhere is the only sensible strategy while vaccine is scare. “You are actually serving your constituents better if you lead for the world.”

Featured guests

David Nabarro

David Nabarro is the Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and supports systems leadership for sustainable development through his Switzerland based social enterprise 4SD. From March 2020, Mr. Nabarro is appointed Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19. 

In October 2018, he received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for their leadership in raising the profile and building coalitions for action for better nutrition across the Sustainable Development Goals.

Clare Rayner

Clare trained in Medicine at the Universities of St. Andrews/Manchester in the UK, graduating in 1990. She was drawn to preventative and community medicine from early on and became a specialist consultant occupational physician. She also teaches communication skills.

She retired on ill-health grounds before Covid and was very ill with Covid. Experiencing ‘Long Covid’ with many other people, she noticed certain patterns of illness and the huge impact on them. She continues to raise awareness of the need for medical assessment of people with Long Covid and collaborates with patient groups on employment issues and wants to do whatever she can to keep people who have been ill with Covid to keep their jobs.

She believes in the power of communication and local communities working together in small ways to be sustainable.

Durga Sapkota

Durga Sapkota, a nurse in Katmandu who continues to organize a community public health response to combat Covid-19 in Nepal. She is an ambassador for Women Deliver, a Global GoalsCast partner.

Most recently, she was elected to the board of Karma Health, an organization that is currently developing a prototype of a community-based health coverage model to ensure universal health coverage and dignified health services. As an advocate, Durga is proud to be a youth nurse advocating for women and girls to have their SRHR.

Dr. Iman Ahmed

Dr. Iman Ahmed is a public health physician with over 20 years of global health experience, working at the frontline, regional and headquarters levels on humanitarian emergencies, pandemic preparedness and response (H1N1 and H5N1), noncommunicable diseases in emergencies, and COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response with UNHCR, WHO, research institutions and governmental public health entities. During the period 2007-2010, Iman coordinated UNHCR pandemic preparedness and response for refugees, displaced communities and host populations in the Middle East and North Africa region and represented the organization at the UN System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC).

Iman is currently working as a Supervisor of COVID-19 Mass Immunization Program with the Region of Peel Public Health in Ontario, Canada. She has been part of the 4SD global health community of practice since its establishment under the leadership of Dr. David Nabarro and team in 2020.

She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Sudan Doctors Union in Canada, through which she has actively engaged in providing health diplomacy, advocacy, technical support, resource mobilization and community awareness in support of Sudan’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

John Atkinson

John Atkinson is a designer, architect, mentor and catalyst for whole system transformation. He has instigated and led projects around the world in public and corporate settings that helped people generate fundamental change in their work and lives. He has been at the forefront of developing understanding of working with human organisations as living systems for over 25 years.


Singer-Songwriter, Guitarist, Peace Ambassador & founding Director of Dole Ndawi NGO, The Gambia. Empowering the Youth through music.

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