Fiocruz researcher says that rich countries should not have despised Africa

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The researcher at Fiocruz’s Center for International Relations (Cris) in Health and a specialist in Portuguese-speaking African countries, Augusto Paulo Silva, criticized the measures adopted by some countries to restrict flights from African countries.

For him, the virus is a global threat and “no country will be safe if the others aren’t”. Second survey carried out by CNN, at least 41 countries, including Brazil, have imposed total or partial restrictions on travelers from southern African countries.

According to the expert, not enough vaccines were sent to the continent, which helped the outbreak of a new variant in the continent.

“The Covax mechanism created by the World Health Organization (WHO) was to channel vaccines to the poorest countries, but unfortunately the richest were left with vaccines they didn’t need, harming those who did. Hence, what we are going to face from now on appears”, said the researcher.

For him, “with the small percentage of the vaccinated population, the evolution of the virus and consequent mutations was predictable. Rich countries did when they despised the African continent were shot in the foot”, complained Augusto.

The Covax mechanism is a global initiative to ensure vaccine equanimity in all countries, even those with low incomes and few technical resources. As the WHO argued, fighting Covid-19 requires a coordinated approach so that everyone can receive adequate protection against the virus. In May this year, UNICEF had already warned that about 170 million doses should have been delivered to low-income countries.

The Fiocruz researcher, who maintains direct contact with scientists and residents of African countries, said that the greatest concern of the African community today is with the low stock of vaccines and the consequent low rate of vaccinated people. Currently, on average in most of the 55 countries on the continent, the vaccination coverage rate is only 7%. The goal by the end of the year is to reach 10%.

Paulo, however, says that thanks to the efforts of some nations, especially China, most African countries already have minimal conditions for diagnosis and treatment.

“Overall, Africa had relatively fewer deaths than other countries. But without vaccines, no health system can survive, as seen in the United States and Brazil. But, for example, the genomic sequencing that discovered Ômicron was done by South Africa, and most African countries now carry out genomic monitoring. These are capacities that were installed during the pandemic and the support from China and some countries were crucial”, he concluded.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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