By Abdoulie John
The donation of more than 200,000 doses of SinoPharm doses has given boost to the Gambia’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
At a recent donation ceremony at the Banjul International Airport, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Momodou Tangara commended the Chinese government for standing by Africa at a time when other countries are pushing ahead with “vaccine nationalism.” Officials of health officials and staff of the Chinese Embassy graced the event.
The donation of over 220,000 doses came on the heels of the just concluded China-Africa meeting held last Monday in Dakar, Senegal. China promised to provide 1 billion vaccines to Africa to help contain the spread of the virus. Out of the 1 billion vaccines, 600M will be given to Africa while the remaining 400M doses will go through in site processing.
“Not only they are giving out vaccines but the Chinese are also trying to build the capacity of Africans,” Dr. Tangara said. “During the recent focal meeting, the voice of President XI Jinping is to encourage more Chinese investment in Africa.”
Speaking earlier, the Chinese plenipotentiary to Gambia, Ma Jianchum reminded the gathering that China has been sending medical experts and several batches of medical supplies to the Gambia. The arrival of the new vaccines, he said, marks a new chapter in the friendship between the two countries.
“The Chinese government has decided to grant the Gambia a second batch of vaccines, totalling 400,000 doses,” he added. He expressed hope with this support, the Gambia will have “a defence line” against the COVID-19 pandemic while reiterating China’s commitment to backing the global fight against the virus.