The director-general of the World Health Organization has condemned the lack of distribution of Covid vaccines to African countries and called for stronger medical manufacturing capacity across the continent, APA reports citing The Guardian.
Speaking at an Invest Africa debate, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday: “The distribution of vaccines has been terribly unfair.” Adding that many African countries are still without sufficient access and that less than 2% of the world’s vaccines have been distributed to the continent.
He said the WHO aims to support African countries to reach 40% vaccination by the end of the year.
The pandemic is clear demonstration that we must strengthen manufacturing capacity in Africa, for vaccines and other medical products.
He called on businesses to do everything they can to fight the pandemic, to support building industry for vaccines and other medical products in Africa and to seek support for building stronger health systems in the continent.
The pandemic is a powerful demonstration that health is not a luxury item or simply an outcome of development. It is the foundation of social, economic and political stability.
Dr Tedros said the impact of Covid-19 goes far beyond the virus and has “taken a heavy toll on lives and livelihoods”. He added that inflation is “rampant”, millions have lost their jobs and that tourism has slowed, factors which are having a “destabilising impact on the economic stability and security of our continent and prospects for its young people.”
Although he said cases in Africa have been declining for several weeks, “the pandemic is not over yet” and that “no country can afford to let down its guard”.