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Group urges end to intellectual property waiver on COVID-19 tech 

By Ngozi Egenuka 
12 March 2022   |   2:47 am
Nigeria Network Of NGOs (NNNGO) has urged the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to call on Britain, Germany, the United States and France to stop blocking intellectual property waivers

Nigeria Network Of NGOs (NNNGO) has urged the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to call on Britain, Germany, the United States and France to stop blocking intellectual property waivers on all Coronavirus diseases (COVID-19)-related technologies. 

Government was also urged to invest in public healthcare and ensure that women and other vulnerable groups have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

NNNGO, in partnership with Global Call to Action Against Poverty and the People’s Vaccine Alliance, called on the government to compel pharmaceutical companies to transfer the technology needed to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines to global South manufacturers through all available mechanisms. 

Speaking at a media parley marking the second anniversary of COVID-19 yesterday, Executive Director, NNNGO, Oyebisi Oluseyi, said these steps would revolutionise global vaccine manufacturing, unlock the productive capacity needed to end the pandemic and build the scientific and industry networks needed to protect Africa and the rest of the world from future disease outbreaks. 

He noted that two years after the pandemic, Africa and other developing countries continue to see disparities in access to vaccines, which prolonged the pandemic for Africa and deepened existing inequalities across the continent. 

According to a report released by Oxfam on March 3, 2022, while effective vaccines provide hope, their rollout has tipped, from a natural desire to protect citizens into nationalism, greed and self-interest.

Oluseyi said, “Large numbers of people in low-income countries face the virus unprotected and millions of people would still be alive today if they had had access to a vaccine. Big pharmaceutical corporations have been given free rein to patronise profits ahead of vaccine equality.

“Although, officially, the records show that the casualties of the pandemic were more in developed nations, the reality is that countries in the African continent recorded a major loss of lives due to the pandemic but lack of concrete data is likely why we may never have the figures to show a truer reflection of the pact of the pandemic on our continent.”

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