The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has asserted that the lives of 1.2 billion Africans are presently at risk owing to poor access to quality healthcare amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Adesina who stated this at the 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank, pledged that the bank would strengthen support to African countries as they tackled the pandemic’s economic and health impacts.
According to a statement, shareholders at the three-day meeting showed strong support for the bank’s proposal to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as the continent faces the possibility of a third wave of infections amid poor vaccine access.
Adesina further said the bank would invest heavily in domestic vaccine manufacturing and in Africa’s healthcare system, noting that only 51 percent of public health facilities had basic water and sanitation and that only 31 percent of healthcare facilities had electricity, amid Africa importing 60 to 70 percent of drugs.
Kenneth Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Finance Minister and Chairperson of the AfDB’s Board of Governors cautioned at the start of the meetings that Africa risked being left behind as a result of the pandemic.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK