Halt Treaty Signing, Incorporate Views of Low Income Countries-Group To WHO

Halt Treaty Signing, Incorporate Views of Low Income Countries—-Group To WHO

Professor Samuel Adu Gyamfi, Senior lecturer at Department of History and Political Science, KNUST and Member of the Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group addressing the media.

An advocacy group of intellectuals working on the Post COVID-19 pandemic by name Pan African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has asked the World Health Organisation (WHO) to halt the plan to get low and medium income countries to sign unto a treaty it has intended to tackling pandemics in the future.

Addressing the media last Friday at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST), the group of experts drawn from Kenya, Ghana 🇬🇭, Angola 🇦🇴 and the United Kingdom as well as others argued that the draft bill by the WHO is aimed at strengthening western economies at the detriment of those within the low and middle income bracket.

Prof Samuel Adu Gyamfi, Senior lecturer at  the Department of History and Political Science and a member of the group said officials at WHO seem to place the interest of the powerful and mighty nations ahead of low income countries.

“When you look at the draft treaty by WHO it shows clearly that there is a plan to marginalise poor countries and in so doing have disregarded the views and inputs from they may have. We are therefore calling for a halt to the signing by particularly low income countries until their views can be inculcated and infused into the draft”, Prof Adu Gyamfi stated firmly.

Professor David Bell, Lecturer from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom 🇬🇧 in answering a question said the group is not discounting the efforts of the WHO, adding that in the advent of COVID-19 its interventions was crucial and timely.

However, he stated that research had proven that remedies from low income and middle countries also helped in mitigating the harm COVID-19 could have caused especially on the African continent.

Dr Reginal M.J. Oduor, an expert from Kenya said the approach by WHO shows a neo-colonialists mentality which discounts any input from nations with low income background.

He noted that the Treaty as it stands now discriminates largely against those from low income countries and wondered why the WHO has refused to listen to the views from many world acclaimed researchers on the need to include inputs from the low income countries, especially the African perspective.

Summing up, a panelist and experienced journalist, Mr Kojo Marfo from Abusua Fm noted that it was important the world’s body opens up to include positive stories and theories the African economies have to share in combatting future epidemics.

These inputs from the African continent could even provide a leverage for the world body so that collectively they could design a better perspective in the Treaty.

“It has proven that despite the fears the WHO had for the African continent we fared better than even some advanced countries during the period of COVID-19”, Mr Marfo stated.

He noted that the African therefore cannot be discounted in proposing and sharing experiences in the designing of a WHO treaty, adding that this could have passed for a collective approach in presenting remedial solutions to future epidemics and pandemics than what the world body has proposed.


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