Participants attending the fourth edition of the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC 2021) have urged African countries to urgently create its own capacity to manufacture and distribute the COVID-19 vaccines. The call from a diverse group of stakeholders was in response to heightened nationalism that had threatened to deny lower and middle income countries, many of them in Africa, access to the critical resource as developed countries race to stockpile the vaccine. Also, the AHAIC 2021 meeting came to a close with calls for greater crossborder and multi-sectoral collaboration to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa.
The three-day virtual conference, which began on March 8, 2021 under the theme; “Decade for Action: Driving Momentum to Achieve UHC in Africa,” attracted over 3,000 participants logging in from 98 countries across the African continent and beyond, including high profile guests and speakers, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya and the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, among others. Speaking further on the need for African countries to build COVID- 19 vaccine production capacity, Tedros said: “In order to ensure vaccine equity, it is important that we build Africa’s manufacturing capacity.
Article first published on newtelegraphng.com