Liberia Commerce Minister, Mawine Diggs speaking at a conference in Brussels called for reverse in the present global inequities in access and distribution of vaccinations and the transfer of knowledge for the production of vaccines on the African continent. She noted that it will address the immediate need for more doses of the vaccines and increase the rate at which the pandemic can be put under control.
She added that despite the tackle COVID-19 pandemic as a global community, the world should bear in mind the menace caused by other diseases. Minister Diggs informed the conference that the health systems in African countries and the rest of the world must be made more resilient to be able to address and support current health needs as well as prevent the occurrence of future pandemics.
The Liberian representative cautioned that governments must also ensure that national expenditures are targeted towards improving health care infrastructures; creating enhanced health programs for women and children; and creating an environment that promotes overall increased access to health services for the general population.
She committed that Liberia stands ready to support regional and international efforts to ensure the participation of the private sector in the building of a viable and strong health sector more than ever before. Madam Mawine acknowledges that the private sector remains a catalyst for growth irrespective of the sector. She added that, through the public-private partnerships, the goal for a revived health sector can be quickly realized, which will also complement and support the function of governments and boost economic empowerment efforts for our youthful populations.
“Exploring new opportunities with the private sector for investment in health care is the approach that every government in Africa must now adopt”, Madam Mawine cautioned African Leaders.
The Liberian Commerce Minister agreed that the renewed and strengthened ties between Africa and the EU must now, more than ever, be leveraged so that both sides can gain mutual benefits in the development of sustainable health systems. According to her, with the ties between the two continents in many areas becoming more extensive, knowledge and skill transfers of health professionals, equipment and intellectual property must not lag behind cooperation in other thematic sectors.
To put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and make the health systems more responsive to current and emerging threats, the Liberian representative suggested that increased supply chain, a scale of vaccine and drug manufacturing on the African continent and ensure transfer of technology and know-how is essential.
“We must also ensure that regional and international trade form a part of our recovery efforts”, she added.
Minister Mawine Diggs applauded ECOWAS and AU for working and sparing no efforts in providing the necessary support required for free trade and improved business climates despite the pandemic.
photo credit: Executive Mansion
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