Friday 25 September 2020
 
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EVERY LIFE MATTERS: WHO

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Global Covid-19 vaccines programme will need $100bn

GENEVA, August 10, 2020

A global Covid-19 vaccines programme alone will need over $100 billion, the World Health Organization Director-General said even as the registered cases crossed 20 million and deaths topped 750,000 world-wide.
 
"This sounds like lot of money and it is. But it’s small in comparison to the $10 trillion that have already been invested by G20 countries in fiscal stimulus to deal with the consequences of the pandemic so far. Every life lost matters," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.   
  
"As countries work to suppress Covid-19, we must further accelerate our work to rapidly develop and equitably distribute the additional tools we need to stop this pandemic," he said. 
 
Just over three months ago, WHO had launched the ACT Accelerator as the fastest and most effective way to contain the pandemic. 
 
The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is a new, groundbreaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
 
It is the only end-to-end, global solution that combines public and private sector expertise in research and development, manufacturing, procurement and delivery for the tools needed to address the pandemic’s cause. 
 
The ACT-Accelerator has already harnessed the international public health ecosystem in a unique way of working, with early proof of its potential, said Dr Ghebreyesus.  
 
The accelerator supported vaccines are in Phase 2/3 trials. A Global Vaccines Facility is engaging over 160 countries. The first therapy for severe COVID – dexamethasone - is in scale-up.
 
"However, to exploit this window we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are financing the ACT-Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools," he said.
 
There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT-Accelerator and the amount of funds that have been committed. 
 
"While we’re grateful for those that have made contributions, we’re only 10% of the way to funding the billions required to realise the promise of the ACT Accelerator.
 
"And this is only part of the global investment needed to ensure everyone everywhere can access the tools," he said.
 
There are two essential elements to addressing the pandemic effectively: Leaders must step up to take action and citizens need to embrace new measures.
 
Some countries in the Mekong Region, New Zealand, Rwanda, and many island states across the Caribbean and the Pacific were able to suppress the virus early, he said.
 
New Zealand is seen as a global exemplar and over the weekend Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern celebrated 100 days with no community transmission, while stressing the need to remain cautious.
 
Rwanda’s progress is due to a similar combination of strong leadership, universal health coverage, well-supported health workers and clear public health communications.
 
All testing and treatment for Covid-19 is free in Rwanda, so there are no financial barriers to people getting tested. And when people test positive for the virus, they’re isolated and health workers then visit every potential contact and test them also.
 
"My message is crystal clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus. If we suppress the virus effectively, we can safely open up societies," he added. - TradeArabia News Service
 



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