As part of its efforts to assist Africa in its fight against the COVID-19 disease, the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) have partnered to deploy $1.3 billion to save lives across the continent.
This was disclosed in a statement seen by BizWatch Nigeria, noting that the initiative tagged ‘Saving Lives and Livelihoods’ would receive the sum spread out over three years.
It was also disclosed that the scheme would aid the acquisition of vaccines for not less than 50 million people, and aiding the manufacturing of vaccines in Africa.
Speaking on the initiative, the President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy, said, “Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent.
“In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy.”
The partnership seeks to expand the efforts of organisations such as COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and other organisations in the acquisition of vaccines for Africans.
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According to the foundation, less than two percent of Africans were recipients of at least one dose of vaccines, supporting the goal of the African Union to vaccinate at least 60 percent of Africans before the end of 2022.
The Director of Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, said, “Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future.
“This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”