Foundation calls for urgent action to upscale Vaccine access in Africa
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has called for urgent actions aimed at upscaling vaccine access in Africa.
This was according to a statement released this week by Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The statement calls for new resources to fill Africa’s vaccine gap and build the continent’s vaccine manufacturing capacity in the longer term.
Africa is one of the most unprotected and vulnerable regions. It would be a fatal mistake to consider that the pandemic there is less severe.
According to the latest data, the continent is home to 17% of the world’s population and yet accounts for just 0.5% of global vaccine distribution.
“We know that if the virus is not efficiently defeated everywhere, it will continue to spread and mutate.
“COVID-19 is an enemy that knows no borders, there will be no final victory until every person in every country is protected,” said Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
At a global level, huge advances in the battle against COVID-19 have been made. Producing highly effective vaccines in less than a year and setting up collective distribution systems, such as COVAX are heroic achievements that must be saluted.
If vaccine supply to Africa is not immediately upscaled, the continent’s frontline health workers are likely to be overwhelmed.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is calling for wealthier countries to share 5% of their vaccine supplies with less advanced countries.
A clear and secure country-by-country COVAX delivery schedule in Africa for the second quarter of the year is vital. We need to know in advance where there are gaps, so that they can be addressed as swiftly as possible.
“In this unfolding scenario, alongside the human tragedy, Africa might well become a perfect incubator for variants.
“We must get vaccines to Africa faster, unlock additional financial resources for the countries that need them most and build public health and vaccine manufacturing capacity in the longer-term,” the Foundation added.
Ensuring equitable and balanced access to vaccines is not just a matter of justice, even less of charity. It is a matter of global security and thus of shared interest.