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WHO official commends Kuwait’s support of its ‘vaccine’ campaign

$75 mln support provided necessary assistance

DOHA, March 2, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait – through its USD-75-million support to World Health Organization (WHO) – had provided necessary assistance for the organization’s campaign to develop, produce, and distribute coronavirus (COVID- 19) vaccines, said a regional health official Tuesday. In a statement to KUNA post the virtual meeting “An Injection of Hope: Do Vaccines Mean an End to the Pandemic Is in Sight,” organized by the Qatar Foundation, WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Director Dr Ahmad Al-Mandhari affirmed that Kuwait was among the most important international partners for WHO in the field of disease prevention.

Dr Ahmad Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, during the panel discussion

He added that the Gulf country had contributed to several campaign to battle illness worldwide prior to the current global pandemic. The State of Kuwait had contributed to the WHO’s funds set to tackle the spread of COVID-19, indicated Dr Al-Mandhari, revealing that the GCC country was among the first nations to support the organization’s campaign to speed up the process of developing, producing, and distributing coronavirus vaccines. Thanks to Kuwait and others’ support, he added, WHO managed to set a basic strategy and budget for its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in addition to developing various treatments to prevent the spread of the virus. Dr Al-Mandhari said that the support helped WHO to devise a just mechanism to distribute the vaccines worldwide, including COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.

The WHO official also commended Kuwait’s contributions through the Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), stressed that finances through the fund had been directed towards disease prevention and necessary assistance.

Response
Asked on Kuwait’s national COVID- 19 response, the WHO official said that the GCC country was considered as a model country in tackling the pandemic, expressing confidence that Kuwait will continue to address the challenge adequately. In regards to the efficiency of vaccines in battle the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Dr Al-Mandhari affirmed that vaccines were an important tool to fend of COVID-19. WHO is keen on ensuring the safety and efficacy of vaccines to bring a sense of normalcy back and revive world economy, he said.

Governments should play positive political and financial roles in assisting WHO as in the case of the State of Kuwait, which was a major contributor to COVAX, indicated Dr Al-Mandhari, adding that there will be a need for more investments and developing of national, regional, and international capabilities to make sure that all are safe.

By Nawaf Al-Deqbasi

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