Prime Minister Gaston Browne will on Monday tell the 74th World Health Assembly that it must agree to comprehensive and decisive action and commit to an urgent and binding implementation plan in order to arrest the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recorded message to the Assembly, which opens at 4 a.m. Eastern Caribbean time (10 am Geneva, Switzerland), Prime Minister Browne said that if action is not taken, our one world will be injured irreparably with profound repercussions for all.
The WHO Assembly is expected to address a number of issues including a more effective and efficient World Health Organisation providing better support to countries, Health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Mental Health preparedness for and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the WHO immunization agenda 2030.
Prime Minister Browne, who is among a small group of selected leaders to address the high-level segment, along with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, will also address the issue of vaccine equity which he said is critical to achieving global herd immunity and to contain the emergence of more deadly and debilitating COVID-19 variants.
The country’s leader will also focus in his address, the issue of vaccine production calling on pharmaceutical companies to increase their production, which he says will mean more and faster inoculations of the global community.
Prime Minister Browne will also make an appeal for the relaxation of travel restrictions for vulnerable small states and rectification of the qualifications for access to the COVAX facility.
He said that account must be taken of the profound vulnerabilities of small island states, which should be one of the determinants for vaccine accessibility.
Minister for Health, Wellness and the Environment, Sir Molwyn Joseph and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas will also attend the virtual WHO Assembly, which runs from May 24 to June 1 under the theme, “Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safe and fairer world.”
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