The World Health Organization said Thursday its plan to secure and deploy vaccines, tests and treatments to combat the Covid-19 pandemic needed $23.4 billion over the next 12 months. Cash for the WHO’s Access to Covid Tools Accelerator – aimed at developing, producing, procuring and distributing tools to tackle the pandemic – would help fight global inequity in the roll-out. The WHO said delivering on its plan could help prevent at least five million potential additional deaths on top of the almost five million already recorded, according to an AFP tally from official sources. “The ACT-Accelerator partnership of leading global health agencies needs US$23.4 billion to help the most at-risk countries secure and deploy Covid-19 tools between now and September 2022,” the WHO said in a statement. “This figure pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars in economic losses caused by the pandemic and the cost of stimulus plans to support national recoveries.” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “to end the pandemic, governments, manufacturers and donors must fully fund the ACT-Accelerator to address inequities in access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments”. “Fully funding the ACT-Accelerator is a global health security imperative for us all — the time to act is now.” The WHO said its plan would see ACT-A shift towards a more targeted focus on addressing the supply gaps in poorer countries. “Nowhere is this inequity more apparent than on the African continent, where just eight percent of the population has received a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Pakistan: World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Pakistan, Dr Palitha Mahipala along with the staff has distributed masks and information, education, and communication (IEC) material among citizens in the federal capital. The activity was arranged being part of WHO’s awareness campaign, with the support of Islamabad Traffic Police to encourage, support and amplify the message of COVID-19 preventive health measures. WHO is carrying out a campaign “Wear Mask, Protect Pakistan” nationwide that aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards COVID-19 precautionary measures. During the drive, WHO staff also pasted stickers focusing preventive messages on the bypassing cars. Dr Mahipala also answered the questions elaborately by the wayfarers about COVID-19 preventive health measures and vaccines. Dr Mahipala underscored the need for greater urgency and ambition to follow preventive health measures. He said, “Every one of us can help limit the spread of COVID-19 virus by following the protective and preventive health measures and control the pandemic.” Dr Mahipala said, “The declining number of COVID-19 cases is hopeful but at the same time we need to be cautious and not be complacent. Still, we need to follow the COVID-19 public and health social measures.” IEC material on Polio and Dengue were also distributed to generate an unstoppable awareness campaign pushing for the adoption of required preventive health measures.