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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

African Union, Gavi sign MoU to increase access to life-saving vaccines

The African Union Commission (AUC) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase access and accelerate the uptake of life-saving vaccines across African Union member states towards supporting immunisation, providing technical and learning assistance and health systems strengthening.

The MoU was signed on behalf of the African Union Commission Chairperson by the AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs & Social Development, Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma and Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Director General Dr. Jean Kaseya, and Gavi Chief Executive Officer Dr. Seth Berkley.

The partnership builds on the historic Addis Declaration on Immunization, which aims to ensure that everyone in Africa – regardless of who they are or where they live – receives the full benefits of immunisation.

It includes 10 commitments to increase political, financial and technical investments in immunisation programs. The evolving direction of this partnership is bound to accelerate the attainment of health security as premised in the AU Agenda 2063 and the New Public Health Order.

“Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Knowing they are prone to preventable life-threatening diseases, we – current leaders – must do all it takes to protect and secure their future.‎‎ I am well-pleased with the growth of the partnership between the AUC and Gavi, which I am certain will accelerate reducing the number of zero-dose children worldwide by 2030,” said Amb. Cessouma.

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“In September 2022, the African Union Commission and Africa CDC launched the New Public Health Order, which offers insights and a road map towards health security on the continent.

“The collaboration of the AUC and Gavi will further relate to Africa CDC-led initiatives for vaccine uptake in AU member states, as well as support investments in the goal to locally manufacture 60% of the vaccine doses required on the continent by 2040,” underscored the Director General, Africa CDC, Dr. Jean Kaseya.

Through this MoU, AUC and Gavi commit to work together to:

  • Scale up and strengthen routine immunisation, focusing on reaching “zero dose” children – children that have not received a single dose of a routine vaccine;
  • Build sustainable regional vaccine manufacturing in Africa;
  • Undertake joint advocacy to boost vaccine demand for routine vaccines;
  • Strengthen primary health care systems and bolster diagnostic and surveillance capacity for diseases such as yellow fever, cholera, and typhoid;
  • Communicate jointly on routine immunisation, pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR), vaccine access and delivery.
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