09 April 2021, United Kingdom, London: Pharmacist Asha Fowells holds vials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Copes Pharmacy and Travel Clinic in Streatham, south London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/dpa
09 April 2021, United Kingdom, London: Pharmacist Asha Fowells holds vials of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at Copes Pharmacy and Travel Clinic in Streatham, south London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/dpa

The current pandemic had revealed the “damaging effects” of unilateral actions and the exclusion of poor countries from accessing vaccines, said South African president on Tuesday while addressing at the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response Roundtable.

“A vital lesson from the coronavirus pandemic is the necessity for collective leadership, collaboration, solidarity and innovation among the countries of the world,” noted President Cyril Ramaphosa.

He said collaboration was what helped African Union when it secured financing and vaccines for the rest of the continent.

“We cannot hope to overcome this pandemic for as long as richer countries have most of the world’s supply of vaccines to the exclusion and the detriment of poorer countries. As we prepare for future pandemics, we need to accelerate efforts to realise Universal Health Coverage. We need to ensure that vaccines and other life-saving treatments are considered a public good,” he said.

He called on all countries to work together, with even greater resolve and focus, to not only prepare for the next pandemic but to build a fairer, healthier and more equitable world. Enditem

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