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💫 East African Health Platform Holds Meeting with EABC

The East African Health Platform CEO Jonniah William Mollel paid a courtesy visit to the East African Business Council. The visit aimed to discuss strategic areas of collaboration in 2024. The discussions with Mr.John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO covered the following areas:

  • Reorienting the platform towards emerging health issues
  • Expanding private sector engagement in health financing
  • Establishing a robust PPP framework for health
  • Mobilizing resources for health sector capacity building
  • Deploying modern technologies in the health sector
  • Setting standards in the health industry
  • Aligning areas of cooperation in strategic plans

Jonniah appreciated and commended the CEO for his leadership and consistent innovation.

By EABC Team

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EAC and EAHP courtesy call meeting in Arusha August 2021

The East African Community (EAC) Secretary- General, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki, has called for a coordinated approach among the EAC Partner States in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hon. Mathuki called for the harmonization of COVID-19 testing charges and quarantine administrative procedures across the region. Dr. Mathuki further pushed for the strengthening of public-private sector cooperation for joint investment in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Secretary General, however, noted that there was immense hope on the horizon with all Partner States having embarked on national vaccination drives.

Dr. Mathuki was speaking during the SG’s First 100 Days Forum that focused on the highlights, challenges and achievements since he assumed office on 27th April, 2021.

The forum drew 267 participants including Permanent/Principal Secretaries from EAC Partner States’ Ministries of EAC Affairs, Development Partners, Members of the Diplomatic Community, Private Sector, Civil Society, Staff of EAC Organs and Institutions, and the Media.

Dr. Mathuki disclosed that he had already held consultations with the members of the Summit of Heads of State to seek their views on how the Community should be run.

“They emphasized the need to take the EAC integration to the people at the grassroots, as they are the actual owners of the process,” said the Secretary General.

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EA Bloc Urged To Increase Local Drug Manufacturing

BY THE CITIZEN, 8th Nov 2018
In Summary
The region imports more than 70 per cent of its most needed medicines due to low production capacity at home.
Arusha, Renewed calls were made here early this week for the East African region to mobilise resources for increased investments in drug manufacturing.

The region imports more than 70 per cent of its mostly consumed medicines due to low production capacity at home, leading to high spending on imports. “Availability of quality drugs for the region is paramount. We need more investments in the health sector,” said Mr Karoma Nganyira, the coordinator of Kairuki Health and Education Network.

The region spends a staggering $5.3 billion on pharmaceuticals each year, the highest compared to other regions in Africa and projected to grow at the rate of 12.5 per cent in the next five years. He said during the official launching of the office premises for the East African Health Platform (EAHP), an advocacy forum for the sector based in Arusha, that drug production in the region could not meet the rising demand.
Mr Nganyira added that the network, which sprung up from the Dar es Salaam-based Herbert Kairuki Hospital, has established a unit responsible for pharmaceutical production.

“Of course, we have to cope with the unfavourable tax regimes but we are ploughing back what we earn from hospital and training units to create a domain in health value chain,” he told The Citizen. Mr Issa Hango from the Pharmaceutical Society of Tanzania said the universal health care advocated by the East African Community (EAC) partner states called for steady availability of drugs. He said although the pharmaceutical manufacturers and dealers were there to make profit, availability of locally made drugs would make them affordable to the majority of people than imported ones. Platform’s (EAHP) chief executive officer Jonniah William-Mollel said the body, founded in 2012, was a “window of engagement” for health sector actors to the EAC with members drawn from an array of industry players. These, according to her, include mainly the private sector hospitals and colleges, pharmaceutical industries and allied entities and interest groups in the broader health sector. “The platform’s formation was also based on the recognition of the importance of the public private partnership (PPPs) between the private sector, civil society, faith based organisations and government in promoting facilitative health related activities,” she said. It is also set to be a voice of the private sector organisations (PSOs), civil society organisations (CSOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs) and other interest groups working on health issues in East Africa. EAHP’s key objectives include advocating for the development and or reform of effective and appropriate health policies and legislations for sustainable health growth and development in the region. The platform now joins nearly a dozen non-state regional organisations based in Arusha and affiliated to the EAC, the prominent others being the East African Business Council (EABC) and the East African Law Society (EALS). There is also the East African Employers’s Organisation (EAEO), East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC), East African Local Government Association (EALGA) and a host of others.

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East Africa: The Next Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Platform

11 November 2018
By Danny Mutembe, CEO, Conseil Medical Supply and Co-Founder Rwanda Healthcare Federation
Health is a major challenge for Africa where HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, and a myriad of other diseases, kill millions of people each year. This terrible human cost is a major factor that impedes the continent’s efforts to escape poverty. Many deaths could be prevented with timely access to appropriate and affordable medicines.

As a matter of fact, health is a very important prerequisite to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Since the year 2000 substantive amounts of money have become available through international organisations such as The Global Fund to increase access to life-saving drugs. Very few of these drugs are currently procured from African producers. In a globalising world this might seem appropriate, but the specific realities in pharmaceuticals mean that further development of local manufacturing has the potential to positively impact the health outcomes in developing countries, as well as adding to economic growth.

In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where the overall pharmaceutical market size is worth US$ 20 billion annually, the production of life-saving medicines is furthermore concentrated in very few countries: 50 per cent of pharmaceutical manufacturing takes place in South Africa and an additional 40 per cent in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda combined.
These pharmaceutical markets are expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent in 2018 according to IMS Health Reports. The Sub-Saharan Africa Pharmaceutical Yearbook (July 2011) also notes that pharmaceuticals alleviating chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes represent lucrative growth opportunities, as do those for the therapeutic segments including anti-infectives, cardiovascular, diabetes, respiratory, oncology and central nervous system medicines. The anti-infective pharmaceutical market, which comprises antiretrovirals, antimalarials and antibiotics, is expected to represent close to 45 per cent of sales, remaining the primary market due to the high malaria burden. The cardiovascular segment represents 11.8 per cent of sales, and the central nervous system and oncology 4.3 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively. However, oncology medicine is forecast to generate growth of 12.9 per cent per annum, driven primarily by an expanding middle class and underlying strong economic growth. Therefore, Africa remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Kigali this March will boost intra-Africa trading with a combined GDP of US$ 2.5 trillion; where 44 out of 55 countries have already signed the treaty. The overall African Pharmaceutical sector is worth US$ 30 billion per annum and is expected to be worth US$ 65 billion by 2020. However, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Africa contributes to only 25-30 per cent of the continent’s needs. The continent depends largely on imports from Asia, frequently with long lead times. The pharmaceutical sector is seen as a strategic sector, and high dependency on imports of essential medicines have raised security concern about the continuity of supply.