By Fatsani Gunyu
DAVOS-(MaraviPost)-Malawi has made the cut in the first five African countries to benefit from the newly established Pfizer Health Accord for a Healthier World.
The announcement was made on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 during the on-going World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
The other four including Rwanda, Senegal, Ghana and Uganda.
The Accord largely seeks to improve access on Pfizer’s patent-protected medicines and vaccines to about 1.2 billion people in 45 low-income countries across the globe.
The access will include both the currently patented medicines and vaccines, and also those in future.
Under the Accord, such medicines and vaccines, normally available in the US or the EU states, will be provided on non-profit basis to the targeted population.
The Accord launch today has coincided with President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s address at the WEF session on Investing in Health Equity on Tuesday in which he called for equitable healthcare opportunities for all; arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that public health is the bedrock of economies.
Speaking during the official launch of the Accord ceremony on Wednesday morning, Chakwera reiterated the need for cost-sharing approach between countries and financiers for effective access to universal health coverage.
“This is how all global problems should be tackled. The great thing about this Accord is that it helps low-income countries without violating their dignity and agency as people, for it is a true partnership that involves both Pfizer and countries like Malawi sharing the burden of costs and tasks in the production and delivery of supplies that will save millions of lives,” said Chakwera.
The President has since vowed to involve all relevant stakeholders in the country so that the application of the Accord becomes meaningful and key in ensuring a healthier Malawi.
Medicines and vaccines manufacturer Pfizer is championing the Accord with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as one of its key financiers.
Seemingly, concuring with Chakwera, Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said making medicines and vaccines accessible for all is the only way of achieving a healthier world.
He said: “As we learned in the global covid-19 vaccine rollout, supply is only the first step to helping patients. We will work closely with global health leaders to make improvements in diagnosis, education, infrastructure, storage and more.
“Only when all the obstacles are overcome then we can end healthcare inequities and deliver for all patients.”
Representing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the launch, Bill Gates expressed commitment towards making universal access to drugs a reality.
He said: “Everyone no matter where they live should have access to the same innovative life-saving drugs and vaccines.”
Through the Accord, Pfizer has committed 23 medicines and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, certain cancers and rare inflammatory diseases.
It is believed that making these medicines and vaccines available has potential to treat non-communicable and infectious diseases that claim lives of nearly one million people each year in the targeted countries.