Oando PLC, Nigeria’s leading energy solutions provider, is set to host the fourth edition of its quarterly Webinar Series in partnership with ONE Campaign, Business Day and Ventures Africa, themed ‘COVID-19 Vaccine: Allocation, Engagement, and Distribution in Africa.’
The webinar, which is scheduled to hold on March 23, 2021, at 12 p.m. (WAT), is free for all to attend and will feature a diverse panel representing key players in the fight to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus including Dr. Olaolu Aderinola, Head Response Division, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, Faculty Member, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Country Director, International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC); Dr. Ngozi Onyia, Managing Director and Founder, Paelon Memorial Hospital, and Edwin Ikhuoria, Africa Executive Director, the ONE Campaign; while COVID-19 survivor Ademola Ogunbanjo, General Manager, Business Support Group, Oando Energy Resources, will moderate the session.
With the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) targeting 35% of the continents’ population being vaccinated by the end of 2021; the webinar will examine Africa’s readiness to roll out the vaccines given the prevalent funding, logistical and infrastructural challenges.
The panelists, with combined industry experience of over 40 years, will examine pivotal issues around COVID-19 such as the high costs of testing and impact on data, high rate of self-diagnosis and treatment, socio-cultural biases towards vaccination to name a few with a focus on proffering actionable solutions to address some of the continent and country’s unique challenges. Finally, attendees will be given the opportunity to engage with panelists via a Q & A session.
Africa has recorded over four million COVID-19 cases and over one hundred thousand fatalities, with the Africa CDC ascribing the low death rate to the continent’s young population. While the continent has fared better than expected with lower cases and fatalities, the pandemic has exacerbated existing economic inequality, slowed economic growth, and overshadowed existing public health concerns.
According to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked the worst global crisis since the Great Depression, ushering a reversal in the fight against extreme poverty, pushing an additional 88 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. This implies that the largest share of the “new poor” will be in South Asia, with sub-Saharan Africa closely behind. Vaccination is thus, pertinent to the continent’s economic revival.
With over 359 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered globally across 122 countries; and Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan aiming to vaccinate 70% of their populations by Q2 2021, and EU countries by Q3 2021, Africa is trailing far behind with an estimated 7 million doses administered to date; representing only one percent of its population.
In light of Africa’s economic standing and growing vaccine inequity the likes of COVAX have stepped in to ensure participation of all countries in equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines regardless of their ability to pay. To date, vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer have been delivered to several African countries under the COVAX initiative; while some nations have opted out preferring to source vaccines directly from manufacturers, or as donations from China, Russia, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Africa CDC has warned that despite the supplementary efforts of COVAX and other third parties’ the continent is unlikely to get a sufficient number of vaccines to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19.
Speaking on vaccinating the African populace, Dr. Wonodi stated that ‘African countries need to come up with their own solutions to the pandemic. Now that we know a bit more about COVID, we need to look beyond a copycat response. We need our own data to be able to make our own decisions about what works best in our context.’ Further reinforcing that for Africa to remain in the race to access COVID-19 vaccines, there are imperative issues around allocation, engagement, and distribution that must be addressed. It is against this backdrop that the 4th edition of the Oando Webinar Series (OWS) will hold.
About Oando PLC
Oando PLC is Africa’s leading indigenous energy company operating in the upstream sector, with interests in the downstream. Oando PLC is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and is the first African company to have a cross-border inward listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
About Oando Series Webinar:
COVID-19 has brought to the fore an increased appetite for information and the realization that success can only be achieved if there is cooperation among people, businesses, and countries. Against this backdrop, Oando created a bespoke webinar series as a platform for engaging discourse amongst thought leaders including public sector officials, senior decision-makers, business leaders, research analysts as well as subject matter experts from across the world.
Now in its fourth edition, the Oando Webinar Series is targeted at senior executives across all sectors.