Discover upcoming events, activities and learning opportunities in global health, international development, and gender equality.
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On the 3rd of February, Amref Health Africa and Dalberg hosted the Africa Dialogues on COVID-19 webinar with public health experts, Dr Ebere Okereke (Senior Technical Adviser at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and honorary Senior Public Health Advisor to Africa CDC) and Mah-Sere Keita (Director of Programs, Africa Society for Laboratory Medicine) to discuss how Africa can build capacity for vaccine development and delivery within the continent.
As Edwin Macharia noted, “the inequalities of vaccine distribution have been glaring” and the session provided high-level recommendations on how we can develop the research and development capacity of the continent. These include:
Mah-Sere Keita spoke on the need for more representation from the continent in conversations on vaccine distribution and explained that “we need to have African voices talk about what it is that we need to do better on the continent to be able to not only manufacture vaccines but also diagnostics and therapeutics”.
Emphasising the need for vaccine manufacturing on the continent, Dr Okereke said, “…we need more (vaccine) manufacturing on the continent. We have the highest burden of HIV on the globe, and we do not produce HIV diagnostics. Africa only produces about 1% of its vaccine needs”.
Vaccine inequity in Africa and the need for increased representation from the continent in global health fora was stressed during these discussions and Dr Githinji Gitahi noted that “…Africa needs to also build its own (health) structures, not in conflict with international global structures, but aligned and with their own control.”
It is therefore pertinent that we discuss health inequality on a global scale and its impact on developing nations and marginalised communities. This forms the theme of the next Africa Dialogues – Phase II which comes up on 14 April 2022.
During the webinar, we will explore the reforms needed to ensure that global health systems strengthen and cater to the fragile health structures of developing nations.
In the coming weeks, we will provide more details on why this topic is crucial and also share the profiles of the thought leaders who will be leading these discussions. Please keep an eye out for our emails.
Submit your questions ahead of the call at [email protected] or [email protected]. For any other inquiries, do not hesitate to reach out using the same contacts. Visit Amref’s Resource Center and Dalberg website for additional information.