According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa has gotten only 11 million of the 548 million COVID-19 vaccines distributed globally.
Deploring the discrimination against the continent in the distribution of the doses and other personal protective equipment (PPE) yesterday, in a statement ahead of today’s World Health Day, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, canvassed for a fairer and healthier world.
She said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on inequalities between countries.
“Amid shortages of essential supplies, African countries have been pushed to the back of the queue in accessing COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, and now vaccines.
“Of the 548 million COVID-19 doses administered worldwide, only 11 million or two per cent have been in Africa, whereas the continent accounts for around 17 per cent of the global population.”
Moeti pointed out that there were also “inequities within countries, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity, and disability intersect to disadvantage vulnerable populations.”
This came just a day after President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the transition of the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 to a Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), effective April 1, with a modified mandate to reflect the non-emergent status of the disease as a potential long-term pandemic.