WHO Director-General lauds global COVID cooperation but calls for more vaccine help for poor nations
DUBAI – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, underlined the importance of global thinking as the world rebuilds after the COVID-19 pandemic, speaking as part of the Fourth Aqdar World Summit at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai.
During a welcome video address, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “More than six billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide and almost one-third of the world’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but those numbers mask an inequality: low-income countries have received less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s vaccines. In Africa, just 5 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.
“WHO has set a target of 40 per cent of every single country to be vaccinated [against COVID-19] by the end of this year and 70 per cent by the middle of 2022. Those targets are achievable, but only with the cooperation of the countries and companies that control the global supply of vaccines. The pandemic has shown that the world’s vaccine manufacturing capacity is too limited and concentrated.
“Investing in sustainable and secure vaccine manufacturing capacity is critical for pandemic preparedness, but also for ensuring a reliable supply of medicines and other health technologies. This requires international, public and private sector coordination – to share knowledge and direct finance in technology capacity. Ultimately, the pandemic has shown that health is not a cost, but an investment in healthier, safer, fairer and more sustainable futures for all.”
This year’s Aqdar World Summit, which is being held under the theme ‘Positive Global Citizenship – Empowerment of Sustainable Investment Opportunities’, continues until 30 October at Dubai Exhibition Centre.