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Nigeria Network of NGOs Calls Upon Governments in Developed Countries to Ensure Equitable Access to Vaccines.
Press Release/March 11, 2022/Friday Lagos-NIGERIA/NNNGO
Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa and other developing countries continue to see disparities in access to vaccines which has prolonged the pandemic for Africa and deepened existing inequalities across the continent. The Nigeria Network of NGOs in collaboration with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and in partnership with the People’s Vaccine Alliance is calling upon governments to invest in public healthcare services and ensure women and other vulnerable groups have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
According to a report released by Oxfam on March 3, 2022, “While effective vaccines provide hope, their rollout has tipped, from a natural desire to protect citizens, into nationalism, greed, and self-interest. Large numbers of people in low-income countries face the virus unprotected and millions of people would still be alive today if they had had access to a vaccine. Big pharmaceutical corporations have been given free rein to prioritize profits ahead of vaccine
Speaking at a press conference organised by the Network in Lagos on March 11, 2022, the Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs, Oyebisi Oluseyi said “Although officially, the records show that the causalities of the pandemic were more in developed nations, the reality is that countries in the African continent recorded major loss of lives due to the pandemic but lack of concrete data is likely why we may never have the figures to show a truer reflection of the impact of the pandemic on our continent” He added that reports indicate that 54% of all deaths caused by COVID-19 have been in low and lower middle-income countries, where 10.6 million people have died while 2.7 million people are estimated to have died in high income countries.
The Network therefore saw the press conference as an opportunity to engage media organisations in the conversation as we call on the Nigerian government, civil society and private sector organisations and relevant authorities to support our call for the British, German, United States and French governments to stop actively blocking the waiver of intellectual property rules on all COVID-related technologies, use all powers and influence at their disposal to compel pharmaceutical companies to transfer the technology needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines to Global South manufacturers through all available mechanisms. This will revolutionise global vaccine manufacturing, unlocking the productive capacity needed to end this pandemic. It could also build the scientific and industry networks needed to protect Africa and the rest of the world from future disease outbreaks.
About the Call for Support of TRIPS Waiver of COVID-19 Vaccine Production.
On the second anniversary of the pandemic which also marks the beginning of the third year since the World Health Organization formally declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, we acknowledge that billions of people worldwide still don’t have access to COVID vaccines and treatments. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are recording profits of over $1 million per hour and world leaders refuse to stand up to them.
African countries because of their inability to secure TRIPS waiver of COVID-19 vaccine production have continued to rely on donations of vaccine doses from developed countries, which although is appreciated, but our view is that building domestic manufacturing capacity is a far better and sustainable option to ending the pandemic. There are manufacturers in countries across the Global South with the skills and facilities needed to produce COVID-19
vaccines and treatments at scale, including the WHO’s mRNA hub in South Africa. Engaging these manufacturers would revolutionise global vaccine manufacturing, unlocking the productive capacity needed to end this pandemic. It could also build the scientific and industry networks needed to protect Africa and the rest of the world from future disease outbreaks.
However, Intellectual property rules like patents and trade secrets stand in the way.
Join us to demand world leaders stand with people, not Big Pharma, and finally end this pandemic. We must #EndCOVIDMonopolies.
GCAP is a network of over 11,000 civil society organisations (CSOs) organized in 58 National Coalitions and in constituency groups of women, youth and socially excluded people, among others. Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) supports people in their struggles for justice and brings individuals and organisations together to challenge the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequalities. Together, we defend and promote human rights, gender justice, social justice, climate justice and the security needed for the dignity and peace of all. https://gcap.global/es/peoples-assembly/
About Nigeria Network of NGOs (www.nnngo.org)
The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) is the first generic membership body for civil society organisations in Nigeria that facilitates effective advocacy on issues of poverty and other developmental issues. Established in 1992, NNNGO represents over 3,400 organisations ranging from small groups working at the local level, to larger networks working at the national level. The Network is charged with the objective of identifying, registering, coordinating, building capacity, and mobilizing civil society organisations to promote interconnectivity and
bring equity, justice, peace, and development to grassroots communities throughout Nigeria, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About The People’s Vaccine
The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of over 80 organisations and networks, supported by Nobel Laureates, health experts, economists, heads of states, faith leaders and activists, working together for a People’s Vaccine, available free of charge to everyone, everywhere. The Alliance grew organically out of the open letter calling for a People’s Vaccine, organised in May 2020. We work together to end vaccine apartheid. https://peoplesvaccine.org/takeaction/end-covid-monopolies/
For more information
Communication Officer, Nigeria Network of NGOs