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From Airports to Arms: Donor support, transparency, key to accelerating COVID-19 vaccination – AHBN

By Dan-Maryam Zayamu
The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) has said that donor support to governments through access to adequate funding is key to accelerating COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
It has, therefore, called on donors, including multilateral development banks (MDBs), to support and speed up developing countries’ access to their funding.
It has also urged donors to facilitate easier coordinating mechanisms and increase transparency of various sources of funding. 
AHBN is a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) which focuses on transparency and accountability in the health sector in Africa with its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
In a statement in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday, AHBN called on   developing countries, as a matter of urgency, ensure their governments at all levels improve political leadership and accountability to improve trust and COVID-19 vaccination uptake.
The call, AHBN said, is premised on a global report from the COVID Global Accountability Platform (COVID GAP), led by Duke University and COVID Collaborative; along with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Africa CDC on “New Insights and Urgent Recommendations to Accelerate Global COVID-19 Vaccinations.”
It also urged governments to establish what it christened cross-sector partnerships to augment government vaccination capabilities; make global support for vaccine rollout more responsive to country priorities, and investing in regional engagement to improve and accelerate vaccination implementation.
This, the statement said, will help resolve the vaccination implementation bottlenecks such as cold chain and logistics, data systems, health workforce, vaccine demand and many others.
The AHBN further advocates deliberate improvement in domestic resource mobilisation and budgetary allocations aimed at boosting vaccine uptake and implementation in all countries.
“Coming off the heels of ‘Airport-to-Arms’ global report, I call on all international development partners, including donors, to support African leaders and governments, not only with financial support, but to also enhance capacities related to public finance management, accountability and prudent spending of resources they are providing.
“I recommend that CSOs including youth organizations in Africa should be carried along in developing vaccination strategies and implementation, so that they can make their input at all stages and ensure equitable access and recovery” says Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, AHBN Coordinator.
AHBN further called for clearer country-led strategies for vaccination which will help to clarify the necessary capabilities, capacities, and resources, including financial and human capital, needed for successful implementation of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in all countries.
AHBN also charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to show greater interest and support governments at all levels to ensure the smooth implementation of all in-country strategies, aimed at increasing vaccination acceptance and uptake.
While acknowledging the pivotal roles of donors and manufacturers, AHBN similarly called for sustained collaborative efforts between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) in order to increase the transparency and predictability of planned vaccine deliveries, and coordinate directly with recipient country governments to support effective planning and implementation.

Written by ExpressDay

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