• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 8:14 PM
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Civil society decry flawed pandemic agreement

Civil society decry flawed pandemic agreement


Thursday May 9, 2024

KNA by Sharon Atieno/Rebecca Wairimu

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and civil society organisations have condemned the flawed Proposal for the WHO Pandemic Agreement which has been watered down and lacks accountability.

Speaking at a press briefing, AHF Director Dr Samuel Kinyanjui said that the proposal for the WHO Pandemic Agreement, is a disheartening testament to the prioritisation of profits over lives.

He noted that developed nations that are working hand in hand with pharmaceutical companies have crafted a document riddled with platitudes, lacking in accountability while adding that the agreement has borne out least-common-denominator policy making.

“The provisions within this proposal severely limit access to life saving vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics leaving the majority of the world’s population vulnerable and exposed,” he said.

Kinyanjui said that in the face of pandemic, equity must be a guiding principle, noting that the current proposal guarantees 20 percent of pandemic related health products to the WHO, leaving the remaining 80 percent at the international market force.

He expressed that equally alarming is the absence of effective mechanisms for accountability and enforcement, despite widespread calls for robust oversight, the proposal has failed to incorporate tangible provisions for monitoring and compliance.

“This glaring oversight perpetuates the same practice that has compromised global health security in the past,” he stated while adding that AHF advocates for the establishment of an independent oversight body that is free from political and financial influence.

Further, he said that AHF calls for a clear enforcement framework with incentives and disincentives for compliance adding that without the measures the history will repeat itself and the consequences will be dire.

He urged the people not to forget the pandemics since they are not matter of “if” but “when” since the next global health crisis looms on the horizon and the people must act decisively to ensure that all nations have access to life saving medical resources.

“In the final stretch of negotiations let us remember our shared humanity and lives that hang in the balance. We urge delegates to heed the warnings of experts and take bold action to rectify the critical shortcomings in the proposed text,” said Kinyanjui.

Kenya Ethical and Legal Networks (KELIN) Executive Director Maleche Allan said that the financial commitments are crucial for establishing robust pandemic prevention, preparedness and response architecture adding that without binding financial commitment and a coherent long term financing strategy will risk repeating the failures of the past.

“Civil society, despite its invaluable contributions during the crisis, remains on the fringes of decision making processes. Their voices must be formerly included and honored in the fabric of engagement to ensure meaningful participation,” he said.

Courtesy; KNA

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