Africa’s health security requires strong African regulators

A health worker administers a vaccine to a nurse in Zvimba Rural District near Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.
A health worker administers a vaccine to a nurse in Zvimba Rural District near Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. Photo by Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images

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Inside Cape Town International Airport in South Africa soon after the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID and the imposition of many bans on travel from southern Africa.

Southern Africa: Last in line for vaccines, first in line for travel bans

Instead of reacting to the identification of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 with travel bans and fear, the world should be lauding southern African scientists, investing in their research capacity, and addressing vast inequities in vaccine distribution.
By Cheikh Oumar Seydi Senior Advisor, Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
A nurse distributes vials of the polio vaccine from a cold box to vaccinators during a polio vaccination campaign in the village of Nakera on the Niger/Nigeria border, Niger.

Getting medical supplies where they’re needed most

Thanks to a new monetary guarantee, UNICEF can help lower-income countries more easily access urgently needed health care supplies. With a form of revolving credit plan, countries need no longer be hampered by typical months-long funding streams.
By Yusuf Yusufari and Julie Frye
A nurse prepares a syringe of the injectable polio vaccine at the Philippe Maguilen Senghor Hospital in Dakar, Senegal.

Amid surging demand for syringes, a new investment supports long-term supply on the African continent

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has led to a looming shortage of syringes for low- and middle-income countries that could impact immunization programs. A new foundation grant to a Kenyan medical supply company will help increase syringe supply and geographically diversify the supplier base.
By Surabhi Rajaram Program Officer, Global Delivery Programs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation