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Nairobi, Kenya - Health CS Nakhumicha S. Wafula has emphasized the need to invest in local pharmaceutical manufacturing during her keynote speech at the 3-day Africa Vaccine Supply Manufacturing Forum on January 31, 2024.

The forum, attended by representatives from various African countries, aimed to strengthen vaccine manufacturing supply chains across the continent.

ย In her address, CS Wafula stressed the urgent need to address the gap that leaves Africa vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks and reliant on vaccine imports.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed this fragility, highlighting the inequities within the global health system and fueling a growing demand for increased local vaccine manufacturing in Africa.

ย CS Wafula emphasized the numerous benefits of establishing local manufacturing, drawing parallels with successful emerging markets that have built domestic pharmaceutical industries.

Kenya has long recognized the importance of developing its pharmaceutical manufacturing sector as part of its Vision 2030 for a progressive and sustainable healthcare system.

ย The forum's primary objective is to develop a roadmap for future-proofing vaccine manufacturing supply chains in Africa, crucial for enhancing preparedness for future outbreaks and ensuring faster, more equitable vaccine access for affected populations.

Despite Africa's significant share of global vaccine consumption, statistics from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) reveal that the continent imports over 90 percent of its vaccines.

CS Nakhumicha urged her counterparts across the region to unite efforts in reducing Africa's reliance on external vaccine sources. โ€œOne proposed solution is to ramp up local vaccine production, a move that would not only bolster Africa's capacity to respond to health emergencies effectively and equitably but also spur job creation and foster innovation within the continent.โ€

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