Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the virtual 73rd Session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday – and he came with a positive message about South Africa’s proactive approach towards finding a COVID-19 vaccine. Mzansi’s response to the coronavirus crisis has drawn international acclaim, despite a few domestic grumbles.
President Ramaphosa said he fully supports the initiative by the WHO (World Health Organisation) together with many governments, non-profit groups and industry leaders to speed up the development and production of vaccines and therapeutics and to ensure that they are distributed quickly and equitably across the globe.
Is South Africa involved in finding a COVID-19 vaccine?
SA does indeed have a role to play in what will be one of the most momentous scientific breakthroughs in history – should it be achieved. Our nation is part of “several research initiatives” at the frontline of manufacturing and distributing a preventative treatment for this killed disease.
Ramaphosa also raised the importance of ensuring there is equitable access to medical equipment, technologies and best practice to combat COVID-19. Cyril went on and implored people to be courageous in confronting this pandemic and told the virtual meeting that a global approach is needed to defeat coronavirus.
“For its part, South Africa is participating in several research initiatives with continental and international partners including the global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. We need to deepen international collaboration in coronavirus diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”
“Let us work together to improve our emergency preparedness for potential future outbreaks of this nature, and take forward the proposal made at the previous meeting of the World Health Assembly to develop a Global Disaster Response Plan. We must collaborate and to act in the best traditions of social solidarity.”
Cyril Ramaphosa, the WHO, the WHA and the where…
The WHA meets annually in Geneva, Switzerland, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum held its gathering online. They are the supreme policy decision-making body of the WHO, governed by its 194 Member States and consisting of health ministers.
— Presidency | South Africa (@PresidencyZA) May 18, 2020