Govt vows to support local drug manufacturers

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Dr Jonas Chanda

Health Minister Jonas Chanda has called for local manufacturing of medical drugs.

Dr. Chanda says patent rights should be waived to enable local manufacturing of drugs in countries bearing the burden of various infectious diseases.

He says vaccines are not manufactured in Africa despite the disease burden being in Africa and that most companies with the patents are in the Western world or Asia.

The Health Minister said this when he addressed the 7th edition of the Merck Foundation Africa Asia Luminary Virtual Conference.

Dr. Chanda said the malaria vaccine is also on sight and has shown efficacy of 77 percent.

He has appealed to Companies holding patent rights to make sure African countries can manufacture vaccines for diseases such as malaria, COVID-19, essential antibiotics and chemotherapy drugs.

Dr. Chanda said Government’s focus is creating resilience in the country’s health care system to protect citizens from other public health concerns while fighting Covid-19.

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He said 85 Zambian specialists have been trained in various fields with support from Merck Foundation and this has benefited the country immensely.

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