The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has pleaded with developed countries for the waiver of COVID-19 vaccines patents for developing countries to be able to vaccinate their people.
Ramaphosa speaks when Zimbabwe, one of the African countries leading in the vaccination programme, has since indicated that there is a huge shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the Southern African country.
Speaking during an African National Congress (ANC) meeting in South Africa Saturday, Cyril Ramaphosa called for international cooperation. He said:
_It is truly absurd, almost obscene, that western governments must now incentivise some of their reluctant citizens to be vaccinated, whilst those of us in the developing world are literally dying for vaccines._
_We are simply asking for a waiver of the vaccine patents, whilst the pandemic is raging, and under specified conditions… International cooperation on the matter of vaccine production and distribution is not showing as much success as we would have liked._
Ramaphosa speaks when observers have urged Africa to be united and invent its own COVID-19 vaccines instead of relying on other states whose actions will be determined by their interests.
Analysts say if Africa could combat corruption and revenue leakages, it can stand on its own.
Most African states do not have functional health systems, a situation that is attributed to corruption which is sometimes committed by Ministers mandated to lead those sectors.
For instance, Dr Obadiah Moyo, the former minister of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe was fired for allegedly defrauding the state of about US$60 million meant to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
Recently, his South African counterpart, Zweli Mkhize was also accused of influencing the payment of R150-million by his department to a communications company Digital Vibes for scheduling his media briefings on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
More: Pindula News