On 2 October 2020, India and South Africa asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow all countries to choose to neither grant nor enforce patents and other intellectual property (IP) rights related to COVID-19 drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other technologies for the duration of the pandemic, until global herd immunity is achieved.
All governments are facing challenges ensuring timely, sufficient, and affordable access to effective medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and other essential medical tools. This is especially challenging, for many developing countries, including African nations, that face limitations developing and scaling up manufacturing capacity due to IP barriers. The unprecedented situation today requires that all IP, knowledge, technology, and data related to COVID-19 health technologies can be utilised by everyone to ensure uninterrupted production and supply by any competent country or manufacturer worldwide. To achieve this, governments have a collective responsibility to address IP and technology barriers. Governments need to fulfil their core obligations of protecting public health and ensuring access to medicines for all. The waiver proposal by India and South Africa presents an important opportunity for all governments to unite and stand up for public health, global solidarity, and equitable access through a concrete step at the international level that can provide an automatic and expedited solution to address IP and technology challenges collectively.
Please join us a webinar, hosted by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), to discuss the implications of the TRIPs waiver proposal for Africa, and why countries should support it.
Date: Friday, 26 February 2021
Time: 14:00 – 15:30 EAT
Moderator: Spring Gombe, Programme Manager for Technology Access Partnership at UN Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries
- Mustaqeem De Gama, Counsellor, the Permanent Mission of South Africa in Geneva
- Dr Hu Yuan Qiong, Senior Legal & Policy Advisor, Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign
- Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director, Africa CDC
- Moses Mulumba, Executive Director, CEHURD
- Dr Monique Wasunna, Director DNDi Africa, Kenya