African manufacturers introduce procurement limit for global vaccine-purchasing mechanisms

AFRICA – African manufacturers have called upon global vaccine-purchasing mechanisms to purchase a minimum of 30% of their vaccines in line with Africa’s New Public Health Order.

The resolution follows calls for a new public health order adopted by African member states on the sidelines of the recent United Nations general assembly (UNGA).

While Africa currently produces only 1% of its routinely used vaccines, the continent has set a bold target of meeting up to 60% of its vaccine demand through regional manufacturing by 2040,” the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) announced.

By making explicit commitments to offtake vaccines from Africa, vaccine-purchasing mechanisms including Gavi and the United Nations can stimulate private sector investment in vaccine manufacturing.

African leaders also called on governments, multilateral organizations, philanthropies, the private sector, and civil society organizations to support the full implementation of the new order that will drive global health security.

Acting Director of Africa CDC Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma underscored that the five pillars for the public health order aim to “democratize” access to life-saving medicines and equipment.

He outlined that the new public health order focuses on strong African public health institutions that represent African priorities in global health governance, and expanded manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Other pillars include investment in public health workforce and leadership programs to ensure Africa has the workforce it needs to address health threats; and increased domestic investment in health, including the domestic mobilization of financial resources, human capital, technical resources.

In addition, the new public health order seeks to address Africa’s current ratio of 1.55 health workers per 1,000 people through human resource development to deliver essential health services and achieve Universal Health Coverage.

Health workers are a crucial pillar in a well-functioning health system. Yet, they have been historically deprioritized in discussions about improving health systems,” South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasized.

He further said that it is good economics to invest in the health workforce as the return is measurable and dependable.

Leaders urged greater investment in health workforce development, and specifically called for stronger support of Community Health Worker programs in Africa,” Africa CDC concluded.

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