NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 — President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to speed up the prequalification of locally produced health products to ensure market access.
Addressing the 75th World Health Assembly on Sunday in Geneva, Switzerland, President Kenyatta said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the overreliance of developing countries on external markets, which he says , has hampered efforts to accelerate vaccine production and supply.
The Head of State stressed the need for collaboration between all stakeholders across the world to fill the existing gaps.
“To support the sustainability of new manufacturing initiatives, all stakeholders need to come together to address financing, coordinated technology transfer, including affirmative action as well as market access for locally made products,” said he declared.
He called on GAVI, the GlobalFund and other major vaccine and essential medicine procurement organizations to lead the way in prioritizing the procurement of these locally produced health products in the countries they “serve the more”.
President Kenyatta further underscored that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the scale of inequalities across the globe, noting that developing and least developed countries have been hit hardest by economic shocks and disruptions. global supply systems in the wake of the pandemic.
He said no country or sector has been spared from the devastating effects of the virus, adding that developing and least developed countries, which are more vulnerable to economic shocks and disruptions to global supply systems , were the most affected.
“As each country plans its social and economic recovery strategy, it is important to focus our collective attention on the very real risk and impact of an uneven economic recovery and what these portend for our long-term quest for end inequalities, between countries and peoples,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State added that the covid-19 pandemic has also brought challenges that have brought significant gains towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
He pointed out that the disruption in the delivery of health services has had a negative impact on essential programs devoted to maternal and child health, immunization, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, non-communicable diseases, among others.
“As president of African leaders. Malaria Alliance, I would like to highlight that in 2020 there has been an increase in the global malaria burden with an estimated 627,000 deaths and 241 million new cases of the disease,” President Kenyatta said.
He further called for greater investment in innovation for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and other neglected tropical diseases to create new approaches to disease control, diagnostics, medicines and other tools to strengthen the fight against the diseases in question.
President Kenyatta noted that finance and governance reforms are key to building the capacity of governments around the world to respond to future pandemics.