The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) and Abibinsroma Foundation have asked world powers not to withhold patent rights associated with vaccine production to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
They made the call at a forum they organized to mark the second anniversary of the declaration of Covid-19 as a global threat and pandemic.
They asked vaccine manufacturers not to exploit the poor in the production and sale of Covid vaccines, saying they made more money out of the challenges Covid-19 presented.
In a statement on Friday during the People’s Vaccine Alliance Africa Press Conference at the Tema General Hospital, the Tourism Ambassador for Abibinsroma Foundation, Mrs. Celestina Obeng said, “As we enter the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, billions of people worldwide still don’t have access to Covid vaccinations and treatments,” which is an existential threat to the humankind.
Mrs. Obeng, who was speaking on the theme, “Trips waiver now, end Covid monopolies now,” observed that pharmaceutical companies were raking in profits of over $ 1 million per hour and world leaders had refused to stand up to them.
In that regard, she said, “Today, more than ever, we are repeating our call for a ‘People’s Vaccine,’ because every life lost now is avoidable.”
Mrs Obeng therefore called on governments across the globe to urgently implement a global roadmap to deliver the WHO goal of fully vaccinating 70% of people by mid-2022, “And beyond this ensure maintained, timely and equitable access worldwide to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, tests and other medical technologies, including all effective and safe next-generation Covid-19 vaccines and medical technologies.”
Mrs. Obeng also called for the maximization of the production of safe and effective vaccines, treatment and other Covid-19 products by suspending relevant intellectual property rules and ensuring the mandatory pooling of all Covid-19 related knowledge, data and technologies so that any nation could produce or buy sufficient and affordable vaccines, treatments and tests.
The Abibinsroma Ambassador asked for investment of public funds into a rapid and massive increase in vaccine manufacturing as well as research and development capacity to build a global network capable of delivering affordable vaccines to all nations
She pleaded that the manufacturers which made Covid-19 vaccines, treatment and tests available to governments and institutions at a price as close to the true costs as possible, and provided free of charge to everyone, everywhere and allocated according to need.
Mrs Obeng hinted on the need to scale up sustainable investment in public health systems to ensure that the low and middle income countries had adequate resources to provide quality health care to the people in these difficult times.
“These investments would pay dividends in the global economy and restore economic and developmental gains which the global Covid-19 pandemic has partially restored,” she added.
The Medical Director of Tema General Hospital, Dr. Richard Anthony, in his remarks, observed how Ghana had made great efforts in fighting the virus, and urged all those who had not yet vaccinated to do so.
Dr. Anthony said the call to end the patent rights on the production of vaccines was right and pleaded with vaccine manufacturers to heed to such a call in the interest of public safety.
Global Call to Action Network has over 11,000 civil society organization organized in 58 National Coalitions and in consistency groups of women, youth and socially excluded people, among others. GCAP supports people in their struggles for justice and brings individuals and organizations together to challenge the institutions and processes that perpetuate poverty and inequalities.
Abibinsroma Foundation is an NGO that identifies, promotes, and empowers persons at the grassroots to develop innovative solutions to the developmental challenges in Ghana and Africa.
Other partners include The People’s Vaccines Africa.