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Collaboration of medical regional authorities key for Africa to be self-sufficient

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

COLLABORATION of medical regional regulatory authorities has been sighted as critical in the continent‘s quest to be self-sufficient in medical provision.

This was said by Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga during a panel discussion at the Africa Health ExCon underway in Egypt.

Day Two of the Africa Health Excon saw health ministers and experts from different countries and organisations holding panel discussions focusing on improving the continent’s health system.

In his presentation on strengthening regulatory authorities through the World Health Organisation’s global benchmarking tool, Vice President Chiwenga, who is also the Minister of Health and Child Care, spoke strongly on the need for African medicines regulatory authorities to collaborate taking a leaf from the recent agreement signed between the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and the Egypt Drugs Authority (EDA)

“The Zimbabwean government and the Arab Republic of Egypt have formed a partnership aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation and maximising shared benefits in the pharmaceuticals, biological products, and medical devices sectors,” he said.

“This partnership was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and the Egypt Drugs Authority (EDA) that builds upon the strong historical and friendly relations between the two countries.

“This landmark event marked a significant step towards strengthening the regulatory frameworks of both Zimbabwe and Egypt in the pharmaceutical sector. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe and the Egypt Drugs Authority for their dedication and commitment to this partnership.

“This collaboration will lead to significant advancements in the healthcare industry of Zimbabwe and the Arab Republic of Egypt. I urge all our regional regulatory authorities to collaborate to provide quality services to our people.”

Egyptian Drug Authority Chairperson Professor Tamer Essam, who was also part of the panel, spoke on what his country is doing to capacitate its pharmaceutical industry.

“What we are doing is not only regulatory, but we are working on capacitating our industry to have smooth guidelines. As an organisation, we have more than 17 test labs and very qualified personnel.”

The Covid-19 pandemic was a wake-up call for African countries to be self-sufficient in all sectors of the economy, with the second edition of the Africa Health Excon expected to provide a platform for African countries to exchange experiences and knowledge in the field of health care.

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