In Africa, less than 2 percent of the 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
A well-known Kenyan pathologist has warned against ‘vaccine apartheid’ in Africa amid the slow deployment of COVID-19, which reflects condemnation of senior World Health Organization (WHO) officials.
Less than 2 percent of Africa’s 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
There is still a shortage of vaccines plaguing many countries and hospitals are seeing more deaths due to COVID.
‘Only two countries in the whole of Africa have the capacity to produce vaccines, ie South Africa and Senegal. You can find countries like Kenya and Egypt, they have the technical ability, but they never really invested in it, ”says Ahmed Kalebi, independent consultant pathologist and founder of Lancet Kenya.
James Nderitu, a 58-year-old resident of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, is receiving his first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. He believes that if everything went according to plan, he should already be on his second.
“I would therefore like to ask the European countries that have the vaccine to help us. “Instead of vaccinating children, they must stop being selfish and help the African countries so that we can be vaccinated,” Nderitu said.
‘Priorities not right’
Matshidiso Moeti, Africa’s director for the WHO, recently hacked at Western countries, accusing them of stockpiling vaccines if there was a more even distribution of shocks.
The continent saw 248,000 new confirmed cases last week, with at least 28 countries causing an increase in infections caused by the Delta variant.
“It is a preventable tragedy if African countries can get fair access to the vaccines,” Moeti told reporters.
But Kalebi said it was not as simple as blaming Western countries for Africa’s unfortunate vaccination rate.
“In a country like Kenya, I think we are not just getting our priorities right. Because you realize that money is often poured into politics, money is poured into other things besides health. We are waiting for donations, ”he said.
More than 7.3 million cases, including more than 186,000 deaths, have been confirmed across the continent, and health systems are trying to provide medical oxygen and other care.
According to some health experts, Africa could prolong the pandemic if Africa continues its vaccination program so slowly.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said it was ‘unscrupulous’ that some countries were now offering a spark ‘while so many people remain unprotected’.
“I think it is very difficult for us to talk about booster doses in Africa,” Moeti said last week. “We have not even covered 5 percent of the population with the initial vaccinations needed to slow down the spread of the virus, and the most important thing is to stop what we think may be a fourth wave.”