By Gladys Machiwenyika
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has called for the acceleration in the manufacturing and equal roll out of the COVID- 19 vaccine, while highlighting inequalities between developing and developed nations’ healthcare systems, as the world celebrated World Health Day, amidst the pandemic.
Commemorating the “right to good health”, ZLHR said the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has highlighted the inequalities between developing and developed countries regarding access to quality healthcare.
“High-income countries that have robust healthcare systems, despite being harshly affected by COVID- 19, have been able to respond to the pandemic through the manufacture and speedy rollout of vaccines.
“In contrast, low-income nations with vulnerable, less resilient health systems have borne the brunt of the suffering caused by the pandemic. This inequality of health outcomes highlights the need for nations to cooperate on the manufacture of vaccines and their distribution to everyone across the globe as soon as possible,” said ZLHR.
The group of lawyers also implored health ministries to prioritise the distribution of free vaccines to healthcare workers and other vulnerable groups of society who are more at risk of contracting the virus such as the elderly.
“Therefore, the inclusive vaccination of all healthcare workers is necessary for the prevention of the spread of the virus to the rest of the population,” said the human rights group.
Moreso, ZHLR said private companies also need to come on board and help through donations and support for the eradication of the COVID- 19 and global healthcare inequalities.
“Private companies are being urged to play their part in ensuring that COVID- 19 vaccinations is accelerated globally, to ensure that underlying global inequalities do not hinder the attainment of the vision of a healthier society in which everyone has access to quality healthcare.”
“The vaccine equity call to action can be fulfilled through donations and support for COVAX and the ACT Accelerator, which are global partnerships designed to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID- 19 tests, treatments and vaccines.”
Furthermore, ZLHR implored developed countries to desist from engaging in vaccination nationalism.