forum. The method of managing the concept of public welfare vaccines combined with vaccine nationalism should make Africa’s health issues different.
largeOn March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the global health situation related to Covid-19 may be considered a pandemic. More than a year later, despite its unprecedented scale, the management of this epidemic by governments and international organizations on a global scale is still unsatisfactory. Today, Africa must have learned the lessons of this particular crisis to deal with the next health challenge that it will inevitably face.
Tunisia: “Viruses are everywhere!”
Since the spring of 2020, people have put forward many voices that support global public interest vaccines, which can be used all over the world, especially for the most vulnerable groups. Two dangers are about to emerge: races to profit from certain laboratories and vaccine nationalism in certain countries. Today, we face these two obstacles. Although laboratories have broken the record for the speed of producing different vaccines, the World Health Organization has warned for months of “catastrophic moral failure but also economic failure”, which is represented by the lack of fairness in obtaining vaccines. As of January 31, of the 70 million people vaccinated at that time, only 20,000 were in Africa, and the African continent was home to more than a quarter of the world’s population. Therefore, the United States and several European countries did not hesitate to order much more doses than necessary to harm the general interests and international solidarity.
Maghreb: Battle of Dose
Therefore, this crisis reminds us of a tragic reality: when a crisis occurs, whether it is health or economy, multilateralism is only a facade, and African countries can only rely on themselves. In a region critical to health, Africa can no longer rely on the outside world. Europe, the United States, and Brazil responded late to the pandemic, while African countries thwarted the Cassandra family’s predictions, and their predictions were the worst, especially due to their expectations and ability to respond.
Tuberculosis, another scourge that has not yet been eradicated in Africa
As early as February 2020, all African ministers met in Addis Ababa to seek a common road map in the fight against the coronavirus, while the Europeans still kept the threat of the epidemic to a minimum. Today, we must pay tribute to the role of the African Union (AU) and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which have played a leading role in establishing the PCR testing structure and coordinating the purchase of medical equipment for all. Africa country. At the initiative of the World Health Organization and at the same time as the Covax mechanism, the African Union launched the Avatt (African Vaccine Acquisition Task Force) to obtain an additional 400 million doses of vaccine against Covid-19 for countries on the African continent.
The Pan-African response to the crisis is a real call for a healthy Africa to meet the challenges. We must now go further than the current structure, especially to accelerate the establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), which will enable the African continent to negotiate collective purchases of vaccines and promote access to the quality of medical products. Fight counterfeit products and even support the development of the drug industry in Africa. Indeed, if a few rare African countries produce medicines (Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa), Africa still imports 4/5 of medical products and consumables. At the same time, we must invest in the African scientific community. Although Africa has an important history in epidemic management and has been facing malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS for decades, Africa’s scientific production is less than 1% of global scientific production. By increasing funding for scientific research, Africa will provide itself with the means to deal with its own health problems, and promote African solutions in many health fields on a global scale.
Africa faces the whirlwind of vaccine competition
Although the various health systems on the African continent have special difficulties, Africa has made unremitting contributions to health technology innovation during the influenza pandemic. According to the World Health Organization’s research on 1,000 new technologies or modifications to existing technologies introduced in different areas of the global response to Covid-19, 120 technological innovations were designed in Africa, or 12.8% of them. Of these African innovations, most of them rely on information and communication technology (ICT) as well as 3D printing and robotics. This crisis will likely prove that Africans are innovative and entrepreneurial, capable of creating local solutions to specific problems.