The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Tunisia, Yves Souteyrand, stated that, given the number of citizens, Tunisia is among the most affected nations by the coronavirus with the 2nd highest rate mortality in Africa.
Speaking at a hearing session organized on Wednesday by the Committee on Health and Social Affairs at the House of People’s Representatives Mr Souteyrand stressed that the epidemiological situation in Tunisia is very concerning in light of the rise in the number of infections and deaths due to Covid-19.
He accentuated that Tunisia has fulfilled all the formalities linked to joining the “COVAX” initiative launched by the organization to give quantities of vaccines against the pandemic in low-income countries, revealing that the initiative, which includes 190 countries, seeks to provide the vaccine. per 1 billion people worldwide by the end of 2021.
He indicated that “COVAX” foretells the equipment of 1.8 billion doses of the vaccine during the current year, emphasising the likelihood of distributing these quantities to recipients on the basis of a single dose for each vaccinated. The initiative aims to administer this vaccine to 27 percent of the population of nations benefiting from the United Nations immunization program, which awards middle-income countries, including Tunisia, the possibility to obtain a quantity of vaccine at low prices. subsidized or free, depending on the representative. organisation. The number of middle-income countries targeted by the “COVAX” initiative is nearly 90 countries, out of a total of 190 countries, most of which are low-income.
Nevertheless, the implementation of the initiative faces difficulties including the imbalance between supply and demand in the global vaccine market, stated Souteyrand, remarking that some rich countries have acquired more vaccines than they want. “I hope that the vaccine market soon recovers its equilibrium thanks to the initiative of certain nations to re-direct the additional quantities of vaccines towards the commercialization” he indicated, pointing out that 70 countries in the world have begun administering vaccines.
He said that some countries in the region have commenced the vaccination operation including Jordan and the Arab Gulf countries, while other countries have received quantities of vaccines, including Morocco, recalling on the other hand that Tunisia has developed a national immunization strategy that prioritizes the elderly and those with chronic diseases.
He called for the necessity to respect health protocols and to strengthen prevention against the coronavirus, recalling that Tunisia is facing a problem in terms of hospital capacity due to the constant increase in the number of infections by the coronavirus.