The Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has echoed President Kagame’s call for vaccine equity.
He was responding to an end of the year message that Kagame shared on his twitter handle expressing optimism that together we will overcome the pandemic and continue building a prosperous nation.
“I agree that we can end the pandemic only by working together to achieve #VaccinEquity and ensuring 70% of people in all countries are vaccinated against Covid-19 by July.” The WHO boss replied, to Kagame, whom he referred to as his friend.
“Thank you for your leadership.”
Happy #NewYear my friend,🇷🇼 President @PaulKagame. I agree that we can end the pandemic only by working together to achieve #VaccinEquity and ensuring 70% of people in all countries are vaccinated against #COVID19 by July. Thank you for your leadership. https://t.co/sitlhT1sxP— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 1, 2022
In his tweet, Kagame had pushed for a united front against Covid-19 pandemic.
President Kagame has on several occasions called on world leaders to embrace vaccine equity so as to ensure the safety of the planet.
During the G20 summit, he often insisted on rapid and equitable distribution of vaccines in every country of the world, hence charting back a pathway to global growth.
He also advocated for the funding of Covax, a global initiative that strives to accelerate fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
In an article published in The Guardian newspaper in February 2021 Kagame said that he was not advocating for charity, but fairness, instead of the hoarding and protectionism currently in play.
Delaying access to vaccines for citizens of developing countries is ultimately many times more costly, he said.
“The pandemic will rage on, crippling the global economy. New mutations may continue to emerge at a more rapid pace,” he wrote.
Rwanda has been among the first African countries to achieve the World Health Organisation global target to vaccinate 10 percent of its population by September 2021.
In October 2021, Rwanda and Senegal concluded agreements with BioNTech to build end-to-end mRNA vaccine production facilities, starting in Mid-2022.
The vaccines that are expected to be produced in Rwanda and Senegal are those arising from BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine development programmes for Malaria and Tuberculosis.
The factories will have the capacity to produce about 50 million vaccines per year once fully operational, in line with Africa’s targets to locally manufacture at least 60 percent of its vaccines by 2040.