Multipolarity and pandemics

Multipolarity and pandemics

On the 26th and 27th of February, the Russian Federation hosted over 500 participants from more than 130 countries in Moscow to challenge Western hegemony in the Second Congress of the International Russophile Movement (MIR).

UWI documents in the following days some speeches delivered in the congress. Today we publish the speech of Tariro Kutadza Title: Global Goodwill Ambassador, advocate on HIV/TB issues, Zimbabwe.

Thank you so much for the opportunity. Mine is on the pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.

Ninety months has gone since our preparation to end pandemics. But where are we? We are only left with 90 months to get into 2030 to end pandemics.

The question is: Global South! Are we ready to end pandemics by 2030? I am sure we are not ready, because what is happening on the ground, we are no longer following the health of people. We are no longer responding or chasing the virus of HIV, TB, and other pandemics.

We are busy chasing human beings, putting them in silos, KPs, and so forth. We are chasing young people. We are chasing siloizing populations in the global south, especially in Africa. All the money we get from pay for global funds, we are given to say, ‘this amount of money should go to young people’.

The question is what to do with it. This amount of money should go to people to do what? Can you change the behavior of a young person to understand the horrors of HIV and AIDS.

But there are these old people, who have been living with HIV and AIDS or this disease for more than three decades. In the first, they were given intolerable medicines, and they are deformed. Now, the space is closed. It’s about young people. It’s about care piece and so forth. So are we going to end pandemics in that manner, where we are prescribed to use the man to deal with young people, who are not even positive. They are not positive, but they are KP, they are key population. To do what? Where are we going?

So, the question is, are we ready to end pandemics by 2030? And where is citizen science? As I go back to COVID-19, they were saying Africa didn’t know about vaccines. Africa were doing vaccine hesitance. But that’s not it. Because vaccines have been there. We battled and cleared polio. We battled and cleared measles through vaccines, but citizen science was not used when COVID was introduced. You introduced it and just told us ‘Wash your hands’, but if you have started from citizen science, what does the citizens know in this pandemic?

Citizens knew about influenza in Second World War. Citizens knew about measles. Citizens did not, they were not given that chance to start those vaccines. We eradicated cholera with the vaccines. We eradicated influenza.

But COVID is a new disease. And after nine or ten months, there’s a vaccine. Now populations were resisting. Now they are said ‘no’, they are hesitant, they don’t understand.

But you told them long back those vaccines took 10 to 15 years to produce. Now we are within a year. Where is this vaccine coming from? So I am saying as much as we are talking of wars, as much as we are talking of accountability, political manpower, all these issues, the health is so important. HIV is being used now to destabilize most countries through this siloization of young people, destroying families.

A young person is incapacitated to not listen even to your parents because they are a key population. I thank you. And I want to end this talk by quoting J. S. Mbiti, who said: “I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am”.

What I’m saying here is please listen to the issues of communities. Listen to our problems. Don’t just use the epidemiology knowledge, the professor’s knowledge, listen to the grassroots. I’m coming from the grassroots. Listen to our issues so that we can move this movement to the high highs. I thank you.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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May 2024