By Lizzy Okoji
Dr Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has encouraged community citizens to take COVID-19 vaccines and shun all forms of conspiracy theories because all vaccines are very safe.
Tunis, made the call on Monday in Winneba, Ghana at the opening of the Second Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament to consider and adopt the Parliament’s Draft Budget for the year 2022.
He said that the call for the citizens to get vaccinated was coming as cases continued to surge across the sub-region.
“As it stands, the third wave of the pandemic seems to be stabilising across our States, but cases are still high.
“With the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) reporting a total of 649,077 cases across the region as of Oct. 14, 2021.
“On the vaccine front, more doses are getting into arms daily.
“And we seize this moment to appreciate our partners under the COVAX initiative and friendly Governments that have donated doses to African Countries.
“However, the percentage of African population fully vaccinated, which is a little over 2.47 per cent, according to the Africa Center for Disease Control, is appallingly low, compared to those unvaccinated.
“Much as the unavailability of the vaccine is an issue to consider, we also frown at the conspiracy theories that have created fear of the vaccines in our population.
“I therefore, wish to use this podium, as I have always done, to send a clear message to our citizens that the vaccines are safe and should be taken once they are available,” Tunis said.
Tunis said that the Parliament had continued to examine the COVID-19 pandemic more closely and very concerned about the region falling deeper into recession as a result of the pandemic.
This, he added would ultimately erase the progress we have made over the past two decades.
Hon. Alban Bagbin, Speaker, Ghanaian Parliament urged Members of Parliament to recommend programmes that would alleviate the sufferings of the citizens, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic while considering the budget.
Babgin, who was represented by Hon. Joesph Osei-Owsu said that the recommendations would largely influence the budgetary implementation for the proposed programmes and activities of the institution.
“I wish to emphasise that your programmes should alleviate the sufferings of the citizens and reduce their burdens in these trying times.
“Especially those adversely impacted by the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must continue to address poverty in its entire ramification and create job opportunities for the people,” Babgin said.(NAN)