October 26, 2021

Chakwera Call for Covid-19 Vaccine Release in Africa

President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera says the starting point for ending the Covid-19 crisis is to release the vaccine doses and grant vaccine production rights in Africa to save human lives saying. Chakwera told the Assembly that it is reported that half a billion vaccine doses being kept by developed countries will expire in three months asking them what are they waiting for? Dr. Chakwera said most of the 46 member states of the Least Developed Countries and the 16 Southern African Development Community [SADC] countries, vaccination rates are below 2 percent saying the rate would be at 0 percent were it not for the COVAX facility coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization [WHO].

He said with such limited access to vaccine, countries had to make the most of preventive and remedial measures saying in Malawi alone, three waves of the pandemic have been brought under control without the use of lockdowns.

President Chakwera making his presentation at the 76th Session of UNGA

In a statement made at the General Debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly [UNGA] held in New-York, USA on Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021, President Dr. Chakwera said Malawi has constructed and staffed recovery centres in record time, treated Covid patients and registered a recovery rate of over 85 percent, and cut infection rates down from 40 percent to less than 5 percent. Dr. Chakwera said Malawi has kept death toll from Covid below 3000 and facilitated monthly cash transfers to support thousands of households exposed to loss of income by the pandemic, these measures Malawi has employed to achieve all this, are not sustainable saying the most effective weapon Malawi need is the Vaccine. He called for the need to work together in Social Development Goals [SDGs] observing that as a global community, there is no progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda that does not involve working together across borders, across sectors and across Social Development Goals [SDGs].

President Chakwera made a call for release of Covid-19 vaccines and grant production rights in Africa

The President said the need to work together on SDGs is why he was happy to host a Pre-UN Food Systems Summit for African Heads of State and Governments where leaders shared what they learnt from the successful implementation of the Affordable Input Programme [AIP] which increased Malawi’s production by 21 percent in its first session. …’’The need to work together on SDGs is why I addressed the first ever Summit for Heads of State from Africa and CariCom, Malawi is one of eight nations that are champions on SDGs to achieve clean energy for all by 2030,’’…said Dr. Chakwera. He said the need to work together on SDGs is why he is looking forward to host a Climate Conference for SADC next month in readiness for collaboration with other regions at the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

By Vincent Gunde

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