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Ethiopia among African countries to set up vaccine factories

Addis Ababa March 14, 2023 (FBC) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) in partnership with Africa Center for Disease Control (Africa CDC) has mapped out six countries for vaccine manufacture.

According to Amref Health Africa the countries identified include Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Algeria.

Dr Adelheid Onyango, WHO Director of Universal Health Coverage, in Africa has said the establishment of manufacturing plants will also guarantee a fight against future pandemics, as reported by Amref.

He added that WHO is working towards improving regulatory capacities for the countries, through Africa Medicines Agency, which was established last year.

Indicating data by Africa CDC Amref Health Africa reveals that a total of 973 million doses were administered in Africa, with only 50 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, against WHO’s target of 70 per cent.

Dr Ahmed Ogwell, the Acting Director of Africa CDC said setting up of the plants will prepare Africa for future pandemics, according to Amref.

“Africa CDC is generating interest in countries that would like to manufacture, but do not yet have the facilities,” observed Ogwell.

Ogwell added that Africa CDC also has plans of establishing diagnostic laboratories and therapeutic services.

On her part, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said counties should revamp investment in health, adding that it is a key determinant of socio-economic development for the continent.

“Critical lessons learnt from the pandemic are that health is a determinant of security, economy and education. It is therefore important to invest in health because it can lock out the development of any country,” said the WHO.

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa, said the continent should strengthen community health systems in order to fight diseases.

He said it is worrying that in Africa, the health system has been set up as “a medical care treatment system”.

By: Yonathan Yoseph

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