Ghana’s partnership with the UK sees the arrival of another 1.24 million doses of Pfizer vaccines in Accra to be shipped nationwide as COVID-19 cases steadily rise. This brings the total UK bilaterally donated Covid-19 vaccines to 2.64million.
Development Director at the British High Commission, Ms. Beth Cadman OBE welcomed the vaccines alongside officials from the Ministry of Health, Ghana.
Standing on the runway at Kotoka International Airport to see the arrival, Ms. Cadman said:
“I am thankful for the arrival of the 1.24 million Pfizer vaccines in Ghana even as we see the number of COVID-19 cases in the country increase. The rainy season always brings its fair share of disease concerns, including malaria and viral outbreaks. We urge everyone to observe good hygiene practices, take their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible to protect against severe COVID-19 illness, and also take precautions against mosquito bites. Together, we can stop COVID-19 from becoming a headline issue in Ghana”.
“We are grateful to Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Information, Ghana’s drone delivery company Zipline and all our partners and teams on the ground who will work tirelessly to make sure these jabs reach those most in need in towns and villages across the country. We must ensure that the most vulnerable in Ghana, including persons with disabilities, have access to the vaccines. No one is safe until collectively we are all protected”.
Global access to COVID-19 vaccines offers the best hope for slowing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing the global economy. Vaccines are protecting millions of lives around the world and in Ghana. At 23% of the population fully vaccinated, Ghana is above the Africa average of 19% but well below the global and Ghana’s target of 70% vaccination by the end of 2022.
The UK continues to support Ghana’s COVID-19 response: putting UK experts in WHO to work with Ghana’s Health Service and the Ministry of health, supporting nationwide genome sequencing to monitor COVID-19 variants, and Ghana Health Service and Partners to expand quality COVID-19 treatment and testing whilst ensuring continuation of essential health services for women and children. UK government also supporting Ghana to build the systems for swift detection and response to future shocks.
The UK is committed to global public health and equal access to vaccines for all. Over the course of the pandemic the UK has worked hard with partners around the world to lead the public health response. This latest donation of vaccines to Ghana comes on top of the UK’s £548 million contribution to the global COVAX initiative that has enabled the delivery of over 1.3 billion doses to 87 developing countries including 23.5million doses to Ghana. In addition, the UK has also donated over 80 million excess vaccine doses to over 39 countries.
The UK is also providing up to £105 million of additional emergency support to help reduce the health impacts of the Omicron variant in developing countries. This includes up to £20 million to change behaviours at scale to reduce transmission in up to 12 African countries, and £30 million to scale-up testing in the continent. More recently, the UK hosted the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit in early March that raised funds towards developing variant-proof coronavirus vaccines and rapid response systems to develop vaccines against future health threats in a 100 days. The UK pledged £160 million, and the event raised over £1.2 billion ($1.5 billion).
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