African States told to end medical products dependency
Medical practitioners want the government to establish strong coordination mechanisms to enable the country to produce health care products and technologies to fight emerging diseases.
They said the Covid-19 pandemic had created the urgency for the improvement of local production systems.
Director for Corporate Services at the Pharmacy and Poisons Board Dr Jacinta Wasike said Kenya and Africa need to end dependency on other countries and come up with sustainable solutions to their challenges.
Speaking when she co-chaired a virtual session on leveraging innovation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the digital revolution in the health products industry at the World Local Production Forum, Wasike urged local health technologists to upscale innovations in health production systems.
“Africa being one, has been awakened to the fact that it needs to cease the dependency cycle and find sustainable home-grown solutions to her challenges,” said Wasike.
For Kenya and Africa to realise sufficient production of health products, Wasike called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders.
“One entity will not make local production a reality. It has to be a concerted effort from all of us on this platform and those who are not here,” she said.
The World Local Production Forum, whose them was ‘Enhancing access to medicines and other health technologies’ was attended by delegates from more than 100 countries.
It also brought together international partners, civil society groups, industry associations, and major investors to highlight the challenges facing local production and the steps required to address them, as well as the range of opportunities for the sector.
During the forum, Member States were urged to align the production of health products as essential long-term infrastructure similar to food, water and energy.