Imagine a future where every child in Africa can get their vaccines on time and how disease outbreaks could be swiftly managed by locally produced vaccines and medicines. This future is not a distant dream but a tangible reality shaped by the Africa CDC to guarantee health security across the continent.
Africa faces a significant challenge, importing 99 percent of its vaccines and 70 to 90 percent of its medicines and medical devices. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed Africa’s vulnerabilities in global health, emphasizing the critical need for local manufacturing capabilities.
The Africa CDC is working with African Union Member States to actively support the procurement of vaccines made in Africa and prioritize initiatives that strengthen local manufacturing.
Kenyan-based Revital Healthcare EPZ is leading healthcare innovation as the first African company to receive the World Health Organization (WHO) Prequalification for its auto-disable (AD) syringe. This notable achievement signifies a major shift toward self-reliance in manufacturing health commodities on the continent.
AD syringes, designed for use in mass immunization programs, are locked after a single use, effectively preventing their reuse. This design ensures safe vaccinations and reduces the risk of infections that can arise from contaminated needles. As the leading medical device manufacturer on the continent, Revital Healthcare EPZ Limited exports to over 30 countries globally. Producing over 50 different medical devices, the company played a pivotal role in combating COVID-19 in Africa. This success exemplifies the potential of African manufacturers to produce critical medical supplies for the continent.
The achievements made by Revital Healthcare align with Africa CDC’s strategic goal to expand local manufacturing and innovation of health products on the continent. The establishment of key continental agencies and coordination bodies, such as the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing, African Medicines Agency, African Medical Supplies Platform, and the Africa Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, has significantly advanced the agenda for local manufacturing.
The Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing, specifically formed to strengthen the African vaccine manufacturing ecosystem, aims to have Africa manufacture 60 percent of the continent’s vaccine needs by 2040. However, realizing the vision of a self-reliant Africa demands concerted efforts to ensure that no country is left behind. Effective coordination between these entities is essential for formulating integrated and consistent regulatory policies for developing sustainable markets across Africa. Through action-oriented partnerships and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, a transformative shift can be achieved, where African manufacturers meet the continent’s health commodity needs and governments actively contribute to these goals. By fostering the growth of local manufacturing, Africa is paving the way towards robust and self-reliant health systems, ensuring people can obtain and use health commodities when and where they need them.
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Dorothy Njagi | Senior Communication Officer- Communication & Public Information directorate | Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention| African Union| email: email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.africacdc.org| Addis Ababa| Ethiopia| Facebook | Twitter