MONROVIA-The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Refuge Place International (RPI), Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah has frowned on the inequality of the covid-19 vaccine distributions between rich and poor countries.
The former immediate Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has therefore stressed the need for an even and equal distribution of the vaccine among all countries irrespective of economic powers.
Dr. Fallah, who is also a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health, spoke at the weekend at a seminar organized by the Global Research Programme on Inequality (GRIP) in cooperation with the Pandemic Centre at the Universitetet Bergen/University of Bergen (UIB) in Norway.
The seminar was intended to address questions of vaccine inequality and by exploring vaccine productions and distribution mechanisms and looking for possibilities to facilitate more equal, fair, and sustainable futures.
COVID-19 vaccination program rollouts have opened a new chapter in the management of the pandemic, marking a scientific triumph and signifying a hope of the end of the pandemic. However, the debates around the COVID-19 vaccines have also highlighted the tremendous inequalities of the global system.
Public health experts say the current COVID-19 vaccine distribution process is one of the most striking displays of inequality. Dominated by vaccine hoarding, vaccine nationalism, power struggle and profit maximization, vaccine distribution is described as grotesque, catastrophic and as a moral outrage. Access and equal distribution of vaccine remains essential in managing the pandemic. But the current challenges of vaccine inequality demand a re-examination of the vaccine distribution system and architecture behind the pharmaceutical and medical industries both internationally and at the national level.
Accordingly, the seminar was a physical and digital event with the local participants physically present while the rest of the panellists joined in digitally via Zoom. It was streamed online but some audience attended the event physically.
The global health seminar was panelled by the Liberian public health expert alongside other internationally acclaimed health experts including Gagandeep Kang of the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India; John-Arne Røttingen, MFA Norway; Henriette Aasen, Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen, Norway, and Erlend Grønningen of the Doctors without Borders.