Waive Off Covid-19 Vaccines Intellectual Property Right – CSOs To WTO

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Civil Society Organizations in Ghana and across Africa are urging the World Trade Organization, WTO, to remove the intellectual property rights enjoyed by rich countries to the production if the COVID-19 vaccines and kits production and make it accessible to second and third world countries as well.

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This they say is the surest way to ensure even access to production and expand availability of the vaccines and test kits across the all, especially to the developing world.

Pharmaceutical companies in rich countries who have monopoly over production of the vaccines make profits of about One million dollars per hour to the detriment of developing economies. This however compelled South Africa and India to earlier call for the lifting of the patent rights on the vaccines and test kits production for equal access.

AbibiNsroma Foundation with support from Global call to Action against Poverty and People’s Alliance Africa, in view if this is reiterated the call in Tema to mark the second anniversary when Ghana officially recoded the earliest Coronavirus cases.

The call which centred on an expanded access to the COVID-19 vaccines was on the theme; “trips waiver now, end COVID-19 monopolies now”.

Director of the AbibiNsroma Foundation, Bob Amiteye, at a press conference to mark the day said, not only is the current monopolized access to the COVID-19 vaccines and test kits production by the rich countries creating short in supply of the vaccines to the globe, it is also weighing down lower income economies who import such essential commodities due to the patent rights on their production.

Mr. Amiteye who is confident of the capacities of African countries to produce when the monopoly is broken noted that, the call is to engender fair right to production and distribution of the vaccines to all persons across the globe as well as help succinate economies that have been wrecked by the pandemic.

“We have potential pharmaceutical companies in Ghana who can team up to produce even if individual companies are unable to, if the monopoly is tripped” he emphasised. “This will reduce the worrying depreciation of the Cedis against the major currencies thereby breaking the economy as a result of the importation of the vaccines and test kits” he added.

The Medical Superintendent of the Tema General Hospital, Dr Richard Anthony, who graced the occasion disclosed that about 86 percent of the target population in the Greater Accra Region, particularly essential service providers have had one jab or the other, even a booster dose in some cases which is a consolidated strides in the fight against containment and preventing further spread of the malaise.

He sought the occasion to urge eligible age brackets who are yet to vaccinate to do so, reminding the public to continually observe the protocols to avert any resurgence.

By: Edward Graham Sebbie/Contributor

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