• May 20, 2024
  • Last Update May 20, 2024 1:50 PM
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Kenya assures support for local manufacturing and safer healthcare access across Africa

Kenya assures support for local manufacturing and safer healthcare access across Africa

Mombasa

Thursday, May 16, 2024

KNA by Fatma Said

The Government fully commits to supporting the African Medicine Agency (AMA) as it works to ensure there is increased availability of safe medicine, medical products, devices, diagnostics, vaccines, and other related products across the African continent.

AMA is a specialized Agency of the African Union that is dedicated to supporting the growth of local pharmaceutical production and improving access to quality, safe, and efficacious medical products in Africa.

This commitment underscores the country’s dedication to delivering on the pillars of Kenya’s Universal Health Coverage.

Speaking at the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Anchored Pooled Procurement Meeting held at Sarova Whitesands, Mombasa, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nakhumicha Wafula said that Africa needs to actualize this initiative to curb the continuous challenges in delivering quality and affordable healthcare to its people, which is the major obstacle making healthcare inaccessible to millions across the continent.

“The Africa Continental Free Trade Area anchored Pharmaceutical initiative not only presents an opportunity for us to collectively work towards lowering the cost of our pharmaceutical products but also to harmonize our regulations and enhance quality and safety,” Nakhumicha said.

She further assured that the Government of Kenya has prioritized the lowering of essential products particularly through encouraging local production.

She announced that the country recently celebrated a great milestone when the Parliament ratified the Treaty of the Establishment of AMA and that the ratification instrument was subsequently deposited to the African Union Commission. Kenya became the 26th member state to ratify the treaty in September 2023 following the confirmation of the African Union.

“The ratification of the AMA treaty barely 2 years after its establishment is a clear affirmation of Kenya’s support for regulatory harmonization initiatives in Africa. Kenya shares the vision of ensuring that all people across Africa have access to essential medicines and health technologies,” she explained.

She reiterated that Kenya has stated its commitment to support local manufacturing, therefore, AMA serves as a great opportunity to progressively increase Kenya’s and Africa’s manufacturing capacity for health products.

In line with AMA’s vision, Nakhumicha said that Kenya also supports the AfCFTA pharmaceutical initiatives, with the key objective of addressing socio-economic-related challenges facing the Continent in improving access to maternal, neonatal, and child health products and essential medicine and commodities.

“It is my firm belief that the 10 countries selected to pilot this initiative will provide insights and learn the development of a pooled procurement mechanism for selected section reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health essential medicines and commodities,” Nakhumicha said.

Among the countries represented included Comoros, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Djibouti, Mauritius and Eritrea and host Kenya.

She extended that beyond the health benefits, the AfCFTA-anchored pharmaceutical initiatives African Pooled Procurement Mechanism would also go a long way in creating business opportunities for the private sector hence leading to the creation of jobs, cost savings, and increased production of medicines.

Courtesy: KNA

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