41 African countries partner on production of vaccines
• To increase domestic funding on routine immunisation
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A new era in vaccine production is set to emerge in Africa, as the continent’s leaders yesterday forged an alliance to invest in local and regional capacity for the production of essential vaccines.
The declaration commits countries to increasing domestic financial investments in order to deliver routine immunisation vaccines.
They also called upon governments and partners to negotiate with vaccine manufacturers to facilitate access to vaccines with tier-pricing based on Gross National Income to ensure that vaccines will be available at affordable and equitable prices to all African countries.
The leaders also pledged to strengthen national regulatory authorities.
These and more were contained in a new declaration termed ‘Universal Access to Immunization as a cornerstone for health and development’, made at the African Union (AU) headquarters, Ethiopia, yesterday.
The declaration was made at the closing commitment of African Ministers of Health, Finance, Education, Social Affairs and Local Governments from across Africa at the Ministerial Conference on Immunization convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Union Commission).
It is to be presented to the African Heads of States at the 26th Summit of the African Union to be held next June.
Support from the Heads of State is expected to further empower countries to increase efforts to mobilize resources for national immunization programmes, Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn said at the signing of the declaration.
WHO and the African Union Commission are to support African countries to share experiences, strengthen capacity, and establish mechanisms for monitoring progress towards the fulfilment of these commitments.
They called on governments and partners, including African development banks and African regional economic communities to support the implementation of this declaration, and to increase efforts to mobilize resources and secure new investments to strengthen national immunization programmes to achieve the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) goals and overall health care delivery systems in the member states.
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