Thu 31-03-2022 00:23 AM
DUBAI, 30th March, 2022 (WAM) — During his virtual address at the World Government Summit 2022, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), warned that Africa is facing an enormous challenge in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic due to extreme vaccine inequality.
He said that only one in five people in Africa have received a COVID-19 jab since the pandemic ripped through the continent.
“More than six million people have died. Health systems have been disrupted, and for the first time this century, we have seen the number of people living in absolute poverty rise,” he said.
“Vaccines have helped to turn the tide. Yet, more than 80 percent of people in Africa have still to receive even one single dose of the vaccine,” he added. “Equity cannot be left to good-natured nations. Expanding vaccine distribution is a high priority for the WHO, and there is an urgent need to increase local production of vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.”
While many nations enjoy a sustained recovery from the pandemic and a gradual return to normalcy, Dr. Ghebreyesus said it was vital for governments to “learn lessons” from the pandemic.
To prepare for future shocks to the global system, he said WHO is now working with its 194 member states to establish “a more harmonised approach to future pandemics”. This robust strategic framework will include a mechanism for equitable sharing of countermeasures and enhanced methods to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to epidemics and pandemics.
WAM/Amjad Saleh/Khoder Nashar