As her country grapples with the perverse effects of its discovery of the new Omicron variant, South Africa’s High Commissioner in Ottawa, Sibongiseni Dlamini-Mntambo, believes that this waiver should be granted to end the
Dlamini-Mntambo said in an interview on Tuesday that South Africa and India had submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a waiver request that would allow the suspension of patents on COVID-19 vaccines that large pharmaceutical companies hold, in order to speed up their manufacture and distribution in less developed countries.
Sadly, Canada is one of those countries that did not support ussaid Ms. Dlamini-Mntambo.
Many experts have long predicted that new variants will emerge in less developed countries if the vaccination rate of their citizens lags behind richer countries.
Travels: “An impulsive reaction”
Ms. Dlamini-Mntambo also criticized the ban by Canada and other Western countries on travel from southern African countries. The restrictions were decided after scientists in his country discovered the new variant of concern Omicron and duly reported it to the World Health Organization (WHO), in full transparency.
It really is an impulsive reaction. It’s irrational, it’s illogical. It’s very hard. We do not understand why travelers from South Africa and neighboring countries in the Southern Africa region have been banned. Because in fact the world should salute South Africa for its advanced medical research capabilities., she said.
South Africa’s expertise in medical research, she noted, has been
refined during the unfortunate period of HIV-AIDS. And now this expertise is proving to be very useful during the COVID-19 era.
Ms. Dlamini-Mntambo maintains that the emergence of the Omicron variant is attributable, precisely, to vaccine inequity (New window), which means that less than a quarter of South Africa’s population has been fully immunized, as young Western children receive their first dose and some adults get their third.
” And you start talking about booster doses […] while in Africa we are struggling. We are now talking about things like “vaccine equity”, “vaccine storage”, “vaccine apartheid”. “
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh added his voice on Tuesday to those seeking patent waivers, and said Canada should not protect the interests of drug companies.
: the most effective tool to date is for people to be vaccinated “,” text “:” Banning flights or stopping travel is not going to help us in the global fight against this pandemic. We must come to the point: the most effective tool to date is for people to be vaccinated “}}”>Banning flights or stopping travel is not going to help us in the global fight against this pandemic. We have to get to the point: the most effective tool to date is for people to be vaccinatedMr. Singh said.
To do this, Canada must play a role in supporting the lifting of patent protection for vaccines. We should not be protecting the interests of pharmaceutical companies.
The patent waiver request was to be discussed this week in Geneva at a ministerial meeting at theWTO
face-to-face was suddenly canceled because of the Omicron variant. Mrs Dlamini-Mntambo now hopes that this issue will soon be on the agenda of theWTO .
The High Commissioner said South Africa may not have the capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, but recalls that her country has tremendous research capacity, which makes it a major contributor to the fight. to end the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.
Why are we being punished?, she asked.
We may have difficulty, for example, in devoting resources to research. But we have brilliant researchers.