Vaccination remains key priority for Africa, says CDC

Dr. Ahmed Ouma, the Acting Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has said that COVID-19 vaccination remains a key priority for Africa.

He admitted this during the first anniversary of Saving Lives and Livelihoods (SLL) initiative, an initiative of Mastercard Foundation and Africa CDC.

Speaking at the event, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy said that the next phase of the initiative would focus on turning vaccine delivery into vaccinations.

”We must lean in and focus on vaccination uptake. It is an opportunity to work with governments to help set up vaccination centres, train and support health care workers, and engage directly with communities to understand the importance of getting vaccinated to secure the lives and livelihoods of their loved ones,” she said.

Dr Ouma affirmed that COVID-19 vaccination remains a key priority for Africa.

”As the continent works towards a target of ensuring 70 percent of the population is vaccinated by the end of this year. So far, two African countries have achieved a vaccination rate of 70 percent, and six African countries have vaccinated between 40 and 70 percent of their populations. Overall, less than 20 percent of the people in Africa are fully vaccinated.

”Today, we commemorate the first anniversary of the Mastercard Foundation’s partnership with the Africa CDC to purchase and deliver millions of vaccines and drive long-term health security in Africa. We reiterate our commitment and drive towards the new public health order, which calls for a strengthened Africa CDC and our National Public Health Institute.

”To increase investment in the public health workforce and train the next generation of leaders and experts. Finally, to expand local manufacturing of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics, which will ensure quick access and reduced costs in the continent,” he said.

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