The World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Uganda was the first World Health Summit in Africa - despite the difficult circumstances of rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
I would like to thank all the organizers of the meeting, M8 Alliance member Makerere University, World Health Summit International President 2021 Charles Ibingira and especially the wonderful team on site for their hard work.
The World Health Summit Regional Meeting on the African continent welcomed many high-level participants, mainly digitally and a few in Kampala to discuss the most pressing global health issues, with a focus to African and first and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine equity.
After three days of highly important discussions the meeting ended with clear demands and a powerful message of international collaboration: The Kampala Declaration on COVID-19 Vaccine Equity was signed by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, together with the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, several ministers from Africa, the M8 Alliance and the World Health Summit.
A total of 15 signatories of the declaration urge political leaders, international agencies and organizations, the civil society and industry, to strive for more equity in COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution.
The declaration states that vaccine injustice is an existential challenge for global health today and the signatories strongly advocate strategic partnership and effective cooperation at the regional, national, and global level for distributed production and access to vaccines according to medical need.
Dear friends, one thing is crystal clear: It is against international solidarity to secure and use most available vaccine doses on a national level. Besides the humanitarian aspect, it is also very unwise from an epidemiological perspective and harms the geopolitical role of democratic states. Vaccine injustice not only divides the world between those that have access to vaccines and those who do not, it also increases the risk for the development of more aggressive virus mutations and jet another pandemic wave.
We must act in solidarity and really make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.
Let us work together and try to make a real difference for global health.
With kind regards,