Access to essential medicines is a fundamental element of the Human Right to Health. Since its inception, GRAN has been actively involved in advocating for access to medicines for sub-Saharan Africa. Advocating for legislative amendments to Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) from 2010 - 2012 was the issue that first galvanized GRANs into action. Since then, GRAN has not wavered in its determined advocacy for equitable access to affordable life-saving medicines.
Stark Realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on HIV, TB and malaria programs in sub-Saharan Africa. The pandemic has deprived women of work, and girls have had to leave school which has put more stress on older women. Violence against women has also increased. Climate challenges affect delivery of treatments. Although there is a consensus that the pandemic cannot end till it ends for everyone everywhere, as of early 2022, only 11 percent of the population in low-income countries had received at least one dose of a vaccine compared to 78 percent in high- and upper-middle-income countries.
An Opportune Time
2022 is an important year to advocate vigorously for fair global access to life saving medicines:
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Seventh Replenishment Conference will take place in the second half of 2022 in the United States.
- The 24th International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2022, will be held in Montreal July 29 - August 2, 2022, providing an opportunity to highlight the need for Canada to substantially increase its contribution to the Global Fund.
At the same time, it is vital that Canada fulfil its commitments to support access and delivery of COVID vaccines to low-income countries.
GRAN is joining with partners such as Results Canada and ONE Canada to advocate that Canada take a leadership role and commit to its fair share of providing equitable access to life-saving medicines and vaccines.