Ports To Arms Abuja Summit
23- 24 February 2022
Ports To Arms Abuja Summit
23- 24 February 2022
From 22-24 February, the Ports to Arms Summit hosted civil society organisations to address the lack of equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
The summit “Ports to Arms” Africa, responding to the COVID-19, Equity, Delivery, and Manufacturing, in Abuja, Nigeria.
Was attended by amongst others, Honourable Manaouda Malachie, Minister of Public Health of Republic of Cameroon, Dr Mercy Mwangangi, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health Kenya, Dr Juan Pablo Uribe, Global Director for Health Nutrition and Population and Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, World Bank and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), the leadership of GAVI and CEPI and several Nigerian State Governors
On day-two of the Ports To Arms Summit, Civil Society delivered a statement outlining concerns of equitable access to medicines for Africa.
The demands were made with four overarching thematic areas, these were:
Link to YouTube
The 5% Continent Webinar Series:
7 December 2021
Maaza Seyoum, Lead Partnerships and Communications of African Alliance moderated the 3rd and final part of the 5% Continent webinar series on Solidarity.
This was the final webinar in a series organized by the African Alliance, Health Justice Initiative, and the People’s Health Movement. The final webinar highlighted the African solidarity we believe is required to get us out of our continent’s situation in terms of COVID-19 response. As much as we have rightly focused on the greed of pharmaceutical companies and the selfishness of rich country leaders, the group decided (at the encouragement of the PVA Africa membership) that this would be a good opportunity to focus some of our critiques inward and reflect on what accountability and domestic responses to the global pandemic might look like in our regional context.
Link to the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/FZD2e751aFA
The 5% Continent Webinar Serie:
27 October 2021
Professor Asha George, South African Research Chair in Health Systems, Complexity and Social Change from the University of the Western Cape moderated the second of the 3-part webinar series. Professor George and the guest speakers (listed below) covered some broad aspects that contribute towards the origins of the social divides that exist nationally and globally regarding access to public health facilities.
and Midwives Association and Chairperson of the West African Health Sector Unions
The 5% Continent Webinar Series:
Greed, Divides and Solidarity
14 October 2021
Maaza Seyoum, Lead Partnerships and Communications of African Alliance moderated the first of a 3 part webinar series “The 5% Continent : Greed, Divides and Solidarity” Listen in as Dr Kamran Abbasi: British Media Journal Executive Director for Content…
Global Gag Rule is Rescinded in 2021
13 May 2021
SAfAIDS “Her Safety, Our Responsibility Initiative” on Women’s and Girl’s Rights was launched alongside International Women’s Day 2021, to amplify narratives around the critical intersect between W&Gs rights, SRHR and other development issues…
Blood Clots and COVID Vaccines: What’s the Story?’
Desmond Tutu Health Foundation
4 May 2021
In this third webinar on COVID-19 hosted by the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF), we talk about blood clots and the recent pause of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine in several countries across the world and South Africa in particular.
Join the African Alliances Tian Johnson as they speak with Professor Linda- Gail Bekker, head of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) and Unit Head of the UCT Lung Institute & Head of the Division of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Groote Schuur Hospital, Associate Professor Jonny Peters.
For additional basic facts about blood clots, the pause, and what this means going forward for the Global response to COVID-19, check out this fact sheet: https://africanalliance.org.
Watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/r2UIpXn1bjY
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
Community engagement and vaccine access in Africa:
18 February 2021
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) compromises of 60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world. The International Commission of Jurists promotes and protects human rights through the Rule of Law…
, by using its unique legal expertise to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems.
Established in 1952 and active on the five continents, the ICJ aims to ensure the progressive development and effective implementation of international human rights and international humanitarian law; secure the realization of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights; safeguard the separation of powers; and guarantee the independence of the judiciary and legal profession.
Tian had the opportunity to share their thoughts on the consultation and involvement of communities during a process such as COVID-19 vaccine development or trial. They also spoke of how we need to ensure that community participation is represented, taking into account the marginalised and vulnerable people during the pandemic.
Watch the full session here: https://youtu.be/94c-SYX18Xg
Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI)
“Developing a vaccine rollout plan for South Africa – Together”
25 January 2021
The meeting hosted by the African Alliance, the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group in partnership with WRHI engaged a range of stakeholders to help build an understanding of what needs to be considered when designing communications and demand creation strategies for a COVID-19 vaccine.
It has been indicated that some of the initial groups who will be identified for COVID-19 vaccine access are health care professionals, those over 65 years old, and people with comorbidities. These groups represent some of the key groups of people who will be targeted for vaccine introduction in Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Watch the full session here: https://youtu.be/po3RC8z_CzQ
The introduction of a COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa Slide: View Here
AU, Africa CDC & SAMRC Conference: Framework for Fair, Equitable and Timely Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines in Africa
14 & 15 December 2020
The present COVID-19 pandemic has serious health, security, and economic impact for the continent. Vaccines are potent public health tools, and Africa needs to actively engage in the development, evaluation, and access to potential COVID-19 vaccine development, clinical trial, and define issues related to access.
On 22nd February 2020, Africa developed a COVID-19 Joint Continental Strategy that has three pillars: 1) limit transmission, 2) prevent deaths, and 3) limit harm. This strategy is underpinned by the need to coordinate, cooperate, collaborate and communicate. Continental collaboration and coordination will be critical for the development of an effective vaccine against COVID-19. The African Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), has taken a bold and aggressive leadership role with regards to the continent’s vaccine agenda.
As part of implementing Africa’s Joint Continental Strategy to combat COVID-19, the Africa CDC, in partnership with the South African Medical Research Council, hosted a virtual Conference on the 14th and 15th of December. This virtual conference brought together healthcare professionals, researchers, public health experts, policymakers to deliberate on:
14 December 2020 – Watch the full session here: https://youtu.be/1io6EakSluQ
15th December 2020 – Founder and Lead of the African Alliance, shared their thoughts and insights around the “Role of Risk Communication in Vaccine Acceptance”. Find out more as they unpack issues relating to understanding collective & individual risk in a pandemic, risk communication of vaccine acceptance, and communicating prioritisation. Tian’s remarks are on Session V and start at 02:28:00and you can watch the whole recording here: https://youtu.be/w3KNclEKdhU
COVID-19 Vaccine: AfroCentric’s Update on the Science and Access in
15 December 2020
NOTE: Affiliation of Tian Johnson listed by AfroCentric is incorrect: Tian Johnson is the founder and lead of the African Alliance (www.africanalliance.org.za) and a founding member of the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group (www.thevarg.org)
As there is news emanating from many countries in the world about a vaccine. Some countries like the UK have already started such vaccination programs. The Afrocentric Group hosted a webinar to discuss the issues of progress on the clinical trials for the vaccine, pertinent issues on access, and South Africa’s preparedness in the vaccine agenda.
The panelists in the dialogue include Dr. Anban Pillay from the National Department of Health; Prof Greg Hussey from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Dr. Samu Dube from the Afrocentric Group, and Mx Tian Johnson. Watch here: https://youtu.be/lY4ao2NRBs8
South African UNESCO National Bioethics committee: COVID 19 Vaccines Access and Equity
25 November 2020
South African UNESCO National Bioethics committee, hosted a national dialogue centered upon the critical topic of equity and access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The webinar had quite a diverse number of participants who registered from…
various backgrounds, from academics, scientists, policymakers, community activists, NGOs, and researchers.
The diverse line-up of speakers from different backgrounds included
Prof Salim S. Abdool Karim , Director of CAPRISA and Co-chair, SA Ministerial Advisory Committee. Mr Jens Pedersen, Senior Humanitarian Policy and Diplomatic Advisor, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Tian Johnson Founder and Lead of the African Alliance, queer advocate and member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the COVID-19 vaccine (MAC) mandated to develop a COVID-19 vaccine allocation framework for South Africa and Founding Member of the Vaccine Advocacy Resource Group.
Watch here: https://youtu.be/oiF_mQyi1aw
The Solidarity Fund: Solidarity Fund’s approach and response to Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19
28 July 2020
Following several months of appeals for transparency and accountability, in July of 2020, Civil Society had a discussion with Wendy Tlou the Head of Communications for the Solidarity Fund…
The Solidarity Fund allows South Africans to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with collective donations.
The fund is independently audited and aims to help with supporting measures to flatten the curve and lower infection rates, detect and understand the pandemic care for those in medical need and support those whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic. https://youtu.be/OEGqWjSLQNc
The Atlantic Institute: Post-COVID Vaccine Development, Distribution,
17 September 2020
The Atlantic Institute has been organising convenings that are focused on the most significant challenges of our present moment and how we can bring the lens of justice and equity to addressing them…
And of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is the challenge that is facing everyone around the world. The Post COVID Vaccine Development, Distribution and Justice webinar looked at the question of justice as it relates to vaccine development around COVID. Another focus of the webinar was to ignite our imagination and think about a life post COVID.
The speakers on the webinar included Professor Glenda Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the South African Medical Research Council. Prof Allen Buchanan, research Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona Department of Philosophy and Freedom Centre. Tian Johnson Founder and Lead of the African Alliance, queer advocate and member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the COVID-19 vaccine (MAC) mandated to develop a COVID-19 vaccine allocation framework for South Africa.
Tian had the opportunity to share their thoughts on a series of questions about access and inequality. How will the effects of structural inequality and poverty that have existed and persisted for decades before this pandemic be addressed when the vaccine becomes available? Watch here: https://youtu.be/N21BNlrYZwM