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World Health Organisation welcomes United States pledge to maintain membership in the global health body


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• In another development, the World Health Organisation has observed the development and approval of safe and effective vaccines less than a year after the emergence of COVID-19 is a stunning achievement, Africa is in danger of being left behind as countries in other regions strike bilateral deals, driving up prices. • As of early this week 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 50 mostly high-income countries. However, in Africa, Guinea is the sole low-income nation to provide vaccines and to date, these have only been administered to 25 people. Seychelles, which is a high-income country, is the only one on the continent to start a national vaccination campaign. At the meeting of the 148th session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) held today, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros welcomed the pledge that the United States will remain a member of WHO. Following the announcement by Dr Anthony S. Fauci, representative of the United States, Dr Tedros said: “Thank you, my brother Tony, and welcome to the WHO Executive Board as head of delegation for the United States of America. Thank you, my friend, for your personal support for WHO over many years, and especially in the past year. We have benefited immensely from your participation as a member of our regular global health leaders calls, since the start of the pandemic. And thank you for your incredible leadership against the pandemic in the United States. This is a good day for WHO, and a good day for global health. I send my deep thanks and warm congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris, and to the American people. Thank you, President Biden, for honouring your pledge to maintain the membership of the United States in WHO. And thank you for your commitment to join the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and COVAX. In my report to the Executive Board on Monday, I said that we must work together as one family to ensure all countries can start vaccinating health workers and other high-risk groups in the first 100 days of 2021. With your commitment, we are one step closer. Since WHO’s founding in 1948, the United States has played a vital role in global health, and the American people have made enormous contributions to the health of the world’s people. We look forward to continuing this partnership, as I know all Member…

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