Africa Gets Only 11 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Doses In 2021
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti has said that only 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were accessible to affected countries.
According to her, the accessible administered doses of vaccines, represents only 2% of global supply of COVID-19 vaccines doses.
Moeti lamented the inadequately gross supply in a statement Tuesday; to mark World Health Day in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
She said that despite the lowest supply of COVID-19 doses of vaccine to African countries, everyone should participate in the ongoing exercise to build a “fair and healthy” world.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on inequalities among various countries across the globe.
Piqued by inadequate supplies of vaccine doses, she said: “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,” disclosing that; “Of 548 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered worldwide, only 11 million or 2%, have been in Africa.
She noted that Africa accounts for around 17% of the global population to receive the COVID-19 doses of vaccines for administer to people.
“There are also inequities within countries,” she declared.
According to her, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity and disability intersect to disadvantage vulnerable populations.
She said recent data from 17 African countries also indicated that a person with secondary school education is three times as likely to have access to contraception as someone who has not attended school.
Continuing, Dr. Moeti said: “Those in the highest economic quintile are five times more likely to deliver their babies in health facilities and have their babies vaccinated with BCG compared to those in the lowest quintile.”
She said that to improve the situation, there is the need to act on the social and economic determinants of health, by working across sectors to improve living and working conditions.
On the import of world health day, she said: “The people should have access to education, particularly for the most marginalized groups,” adding that communities be engaged as partners through what she described as; “networking with associations to shape and drive health and development interventions.
While overcoming challenges of inequalities, she said: “There is limited data showing who is being missed and why.
“To address this, national health information systems need to capture age, sex and equity stratified data.
“This information can then be used to inform decision- and policy-making.”
She said that on part of the global health organisation, it’s working with countries to strengthen capacities to collect, manage and use data.
According to her, the management and use of data could enhance monitoring and action to address avoidable inequities.
“Investment is also needed to accelerate progress towards Universal Health Coverage, to protect individuals from financial hardship in accessing needed care to improve service coverage,” she noted.
She said most African countries have initiated reforms that could contribute to building more resilient health systems and societies.