A symposium on vaccine production in Africa has recognized the aspiration expressed by East African Community (EAC) Partner States to develop their pharmaceutical industry including vaccine manufacturing, as part of the regions’, social, economic and political integration agenda.
This took place at the East African Vaccine Symposium Vaccine Production in Africa for Africa Arusha, Tanzania last week.
“Motivated by the growing pharmaceutical spending in Africa at a compound annual growth rate of 10.6%, in particular, the growth in the East African Community (EAC which has the highest pharmaceutical sales growth in Africa estimated at 12.4% in the next five years, and further spurred by a convergence of demographic changes, increasing wealth and healthcare investment, and challenges around increasing cases of chronic diseases.” A communique released at the end of the meeting reads in part.
EAC has resolved to develop a harmonized regional policy and regulatory framework for local production of vaccines which will contribute to health security by ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential vaccines and further prevent greater disruptions in rural and poor areas
The regional trading bloc has also agreed to promote the establishment of a regional bio-technology and vaccine manufacturing hub, to facilitate technology transfer, promote local production and improving access to vaccines with the intent of enabling the technological or manufacturing capacity of the region in a mutually beneficial manner, while promoting public health objectives.
The region has also resolved to consider establishing a regional vaccine manufacturing facility either through public-private partnership or purely public agency to meet the regional demand for vaccine supplies within the framework of regional industries.
“In this regards, there is need for quick harmonization of the relevant national and regional procurement and distribution policies and Identify opportunities and incentives to promote local production and sourcing of vaccines and related materials.” Reads the resolutions statement.
EAC in collaboration with East African Business Council; Federation of East African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers FEAPM plans to explore the scope for formation of advocacy platform and networks for Vaccine manufacturing comprising governmental organizations, researchers, private sector to provide forum to discuss challenges, opportunities and emerging issues including diseases and partnership.
The bloc has also resolved to collaborate with academia, East African Science and Technology Commision (EASTECO), and other partners to promote best practices, science, technology and innovation to enhance competitiveness in local production of vaccines.