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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.

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IIDEA Call for Projects is open: APPLY NOW!

02nd July 2019
IIDEA is an initiative which incubates small-scale regional integration projects, proposed and implemented by civil society, private sector and other interest groups in East Africa.
It is cross-border in nature with projects involving at least two EAC Partner States. IIDEA provides technical and financial support for implementation and marketing of eligible projects.

initiative is implemented jointly with the East African Community Secretariat and the German Development Cooperation implemented by GIZ.

What is IIDEA doing?
IIDEA projects put into action and showcase success stories, impacts and experiences of citizens regarding the implementation of the EAC Customs Union and Common Market Protocol. This includes provisions such as the free movement of citizens, labour, goods, capital and the rights of establishment and residence of citizens in East Africa. In addition it will support projects that engage with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Who can apply?
We invite organizations with innovative projects and the capacity to implement them to submit their applications for support, in particular projects in the following areas: Health, Innovation in ICT, Agriculture, Trade and Tourism are eligible. We specifically encourage projects focusing on the needs of Youth and Women in the region. Please refer to the Project Concept Note for a complete statement of goals and expected results.

What do you need to do?
Applications must be received at EAC–GIZ Offices in Arusha not later than 30th July 2019. Applications and the relevant supporting documents thereof shall be submitted in PDF format (preferred) or other electronic format to iidea@eachq.org with a copy to eac-germancooperation@giz.de. Any questions concerning this request for application (RFA) should be submitted in writing not later than 15 July 2019 prior to the closing date shown above to iidea@eachq.org with a copy to eac-germancooperation@giz.de. Final selection will be made in August 2019. Only successful applicants will be notified. All projects are evaluated according to a fixed set of criteria, and the final funding decision is made by EAC-GIZ Where to find all the relevant info? The application form and all required annexes can be downloaded from the IIDEA web site at: www.eaciidea.net/tools/
For more info kindly visit www.eaciidea.net/2019/07/02/iidea-call-for-projects-is-open-apply-now