The World Health Organisation (WHO) disclosed that of the 548 million COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed worldwide, Africa only received a total of 11 million despite accounting for 17 percent of the global population.
This, the WHO noted, was a symptom of the inequality in the distribution of vaccines between countries.
Speaking on the matter was the Regional Director for Africa, WHO, Matshidiso Moeti, in a statement, in view of the World Health Day celebration.
Moeti said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on inequalities between countries.
“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, and now vaccines.
“Of the 548 million COVID-19 doses administered worldwide, only 11 million or two per cent have been in Africa, whereas the continent accounts for around 17 per cent of the global population.”
She noted the “inequities within countries, discrimination based on gender, place of residence, income, educational level, age, ethnicity, and disability intersect to disadvantage vulnerable populations.”
What WHO Is Doing
Moeti stated that the World Health Organisation was collaborating with countries to ensure that data are collected and managed to curb inequities.
She said, “At WHO, we are working with countries to strengthen capacities to collect, manage and use data, as well as to enhance monitoring and action to address avoidable inequities. In the past year, we have disseminated technical guidance on gender, equity, and COVID-19 and trained 30 country teams in gender and health equity integrated programming.
“The teams are using skills gained to support equitable health response, including to deal with gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19.”