The Government of Uganda is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding via the Ministry of Health with Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel , Switzerland, to improve the delivery of health services, especially in the fight against Sickle cell.
According to Dr Charles Kiyaga, the National Coordinator for sickle cell program at the Ministry of Health the partnership will allow Ugandans struggling with genetic diseases to access cheap health services from selected government Regional Referral Hospitals.
“The goal of this new public-private collaboration is to improve the diagnosis and care of people with sickle cell disease in Uganda by making a new medication developed by the pharmaceutical industry available to the public at a cheaper price in the four regional hospitals,” said Kiyaga.
In this agreement, the pharmaceutical firm will supply a medication called Hydroxyurea to the Ministry of Health, which is considered strong in the treatment of the symptoms of the sickle cell.
This medication has been available in the country but has only been accessed via private hospitals, making it very costly.
The drug that was reported as an indication of Sickle cell last year will be obtained and distributed to the regional hospitals of Jinja, Lira Gulu among other hospitals.
In addition to promoting the procurement of medicines, the agreement will also discuss other difficulties that the Ministry faces in alleviating sickle cell issues, including advocacy, research, among others.
Kiyaga said, “This collaboration will allow us to engage in advocacy in conjunction with additional organisations to help minimize the burden of Sickle cell and help ensure programs’ long-term viability of the services.”