The official opening of the Extra Ordinary Meeting of Ministers of Health and those responsible for HIV and AIDS was virtually hosted by Mozambique, as per a communiqué shared yesterday.
The objective of the meeting was to examine the recommendations of the Expanded Technical Committee on Monitoring the Implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Health, and to provide guidance on regional face to face meetings for the May/June 2021 Summit of Heads of States and Government, and Council of Ministers.
In her opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of SADC, DR. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, gave an outlook of the COVID-19 situation in the SADC region adding that Member States have been steadfast in the implementation of public health, and socio-economic measures to control the pandemic.
The vaccination campaign against COVID-19, she underlined, is gaining momentum on the continent, with many countries having rolled out the vaccination drive, and more people being vaccinated.
She thus appealed for increased and equal access to vaccines, enhancement of capacities in research as well as the manufacturing of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases in line to the African Union's recommendation on the importance for Africa to build its capabilities and reduce dependency on global markets.
She also indicated that the Expanded Technical Committee for Coordinating and Monitoring the Implementation of the SADC Protocol on Health, developed guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures to facilitate cross-border movements of goods and public health surveillance.
She expressed her gratitude to each and every one to contribute to the improvement of living standards and the livelihoods of SADC citizens in the fight against COVID-19.