Brazzaville (AFP)

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday deplored the "shocking inequalities in access to vaccines" against Covid-19, at the opening of a virtual annual meeting of health ministers from the African continent.

"Globally, 140 countries have vaccinated at least ten percent of their population, but on our continent only four countries have been able to achieve this goal, due to shocking inequalities in access to vaccines," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

According to him, "the vaccine crisis illustrates the fundamental weakness at the roots of the pandemic: the lack of global solidarity and sharing - sharing of information and data, biological samples, resources, technology and tools ".

In order to strengthen global solidarity, the Director General of WHO called on African countries to support "an international treaty or any other legal instrument making it possible to improve international cooperation" in terms of responding to the pandemic.

This treaty could be discussed in November at a special session of the World Health Assembly.

"The Covax device has delivered 40 million doses of vaccine to African countries, which is only a small fraction of the doses needed to protect the populations of the continent against the risks of serious illness and death linked to Covid-19", also highlighted Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Indeed, the Covid-19 epidemic represents "both an opportunity and a stark reminder of the need to rethink systems that enhance equity, and to invest more in the development of a healthier and more just world. ".

In addition to the response to Covid-19, this "71st session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa", scheduled over three days, must also focus on the fight against "all forms of polio", against cancer of the cervix, tuberculosis, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis, meningitis.

© 2021 AFP