WHO Director-General calls for more vaccine help for poor nations at UAE summit

Dubai - Low-income countries have received less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s vaccines.

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Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 26 Oct 2021, 2:08 PM

Global thinking and greater international, public and private sector collaborations are the need of the hour to redress the Covid-19 situation in developing countries.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, lauded the global Covid cooperation but urged everyone to think globally especially, about the poorer countries, while deliberating to rebuild the world after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He underlined this idea, while speaking as part of the Fourth Aqdar World Summit at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai that is being held under the theme, ‘Positive Global Citizenship – Empowerment of Sustainable Investment Opportunities’.

Dr Ghebreyesus opined, “More than six billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide and almost one-third of the world’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 but those numbers mask an inequality. Low-income countries have received less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s vaccines. In Africa, just 5 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.

“World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a target of 40 per cent of every single country to be vaccinated (against Covid-19) by the end of this year and 70 per cent by the middle of 2022. Those targets are achievable but only with the cooperation of the countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines. The pandemic has shown that the world’s vaccine manufacturing capacity is too limited and concentrated.”

He reiterated investing in sustainable and secure vaccine manufacturing capacity is not only critical for pandemic preparedness but also for ensuring a reliable supply of medicines and other health technologies.

“This requires international, public and private sector coordination – to share knowledge and direct finance in technology capacity. Ultimately, the pandemic has shown that health is not a cost but an investment in healthier, safer, fairer and more sustainable futures for all”, Dr Ghebreyesus added.

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