WHO Director-General’s opening remarks during Financing COVID-19 Vaccines for Africa: A whole-of-Africa proceed to addressing vaccine access, smoothness and uptake – 4 Mar 2021 – World

Excellencies, renowned guests, dear colleagues and friends,

Good afternoon to all of you, and appreciate we so many for a event of vocalization to we today.

When COVID-19 initial emerged some-more than a year ago, we were all deeply endangered about a intensity impact in Africa, and other regions with weaker health systems.

So far, roughly 4 million cases have been reported from African Union countries, and we have mislaid some-more than 100 thousand of a brothers and sisters.

We know that a genuine numbers are higher.

But a pestilence is a startling paradox: some of a wealthiest countries, with a many modernized medical technology, have been hardest hit, while many countries in Africa have managed to forestall or control widespread village transmission.

This is interjection in partial to African countries’ prolonged knowledge in requesting simple open health collection to forestall and respond to outbreaks of spreading disease.

But we also know that a continent’s comparatively immature race means Africa has not seen a same scale of serious illness and genocide as other regions with comparison populations.

Regional oneness has been a critical partial of a response, and we would like to acknowledge a care of President Ramaphosa and Mouusa Faki in building a continental plan opposite COVID-19 in Africa, and for bringing together a clever bloc of heading domestic and business leaders.

Since a commencement of a pandemic, WHO and a partners have worked day and night to safeguard estimable entrance to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics for COVID-19.

And we have been operative with a partners to support countries in scheming for a rollout of vaccines.

This week, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire became a initial countries to start vaccination with doses allocated by COVAX.

Deliveries have also arrived in Angola, a Democratic Republic of a Congo, Gambia, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Sudan.

Between now and a finish of May, 237 million doses of vaccines will be allocated to 142 participating economies and countries in COVAX.

This is encouraging, though we still have a lot of work to do.

One of a categorical priorities now is to boost a aspiration of COVAX to assistance all countries finish a pandemic.

This means obligatory movement to scale adult prolongation to grasp a quick boost in a volumes of doses.

We are operative with a partners to find ways to boost production, including record transfer, intentional chartering and other mechanisms to residence prolongation bottlenecks.

We are committed to fostering a closer operative attribute between COVAX and AVATT to precedence their total strength to safeguard a quick scale-up and placement of all a vaccines we need to stop a pestilence opposite a continent.

We also appreciate South Africa and India for their offer to a World Trade Organization to relinquish patents on medical products for COVID-19 until a finish of a pandemic.

We inspire other African countries to support this initiative.

The flexibilities in a TRIPS agreement are there to be used in emergencies. If not now, afterwards when? We also titillate we as financial ministers to deposit in internal prolongation of vaccines, not usually for a pestilence though for other vaccines that all countries need for slight immunization programmes.

Finally, we contingency remember that nonetheless vaccines will assistance to move a pestilence underneath control, we will still be left with many of a same hurdles we had before.

There is no vaccine for poverty, hunger, inequality, meridian change, child marriage, or many of a other problems a brothers and sisters face on a daily basis.

The pestilence has highlighted that health is executive to Africa’s future.

A curtain does not win races to turn fast; she becomes quick to win races.

In a same way, health is not a product of clever and moneyed nations; it is a means.

A healthy race is a productive, innovative and volatile population.

And a best approach to strengthen and foster a health of a race is to make certain all a people can entrance a products and services they need, though confronting financial hardship.

That’s because we sojourn some-more assured than ever that to build a healthier, safer, fairer, some-more moneyed and some-more tolerable Africa we all want, health contingency be seen not as a cost to be contained, though as an investment to be nurtured – an investment that delivers a abounding reward.

WHO stays committed to ancillary all African countries to finish a pandemic, and build stronger health systems for a healthier, safer and fairer Africa we all want.

Thank we so much.

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