Amref Health

Donated Medical Supplies and Equipment for Safe Delivery in Zanzibar by Amref Tanzania and Partners

Vital medical supplies and equipment have been provided to the Ministry of Health for distribution to 28 healthcare facilities by Amref Health Africa-Tanzania, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Zanzibar, Absa Bank, and multiple other partners. The noteworthy donation is a component of the “Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging” (Walk-Jog-Run) program, which aims to improve maternal and child health outcomes by supporting Zanzibar’s health facilities with medical supplies and equipment for safe delivery.

Hon. Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, Zanzibar’s Minister of Health, emphasized that 28 healthcare facilities will directly benefit from this program during the hand-over event that took place at the Ministry of Health office in Zanzibar. Encouraging the safe delivery of medical supplies and equipment in Zanzibar is essential and much-needed. He reiterated, “It is the responsibility of our government to guarantee that these supplies and equipment are regularly available and used as intended, since this is the gateway to saving Zanzibaris’ lives, especially those of mothers and babies. He pledged that the administration will make sure the donated equipment got to all of the islands’ designated medical facilities.

Hon. Mazrui further praised Amref and other partners for their creative strategy and exhorted other partners to combine efforts to guarantee the availability of medical supplies and equipment for safe delivery in Zanzibar. “I want to encourage everyone to keep helping save the lives of mothers and children by using the official website, https://wogging.amref.org/, and the payment number, vodacom 5529421, tigo 6633523,” he continued.

“Through the Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging” initiative, in collaboration with various stakeholders and private companies, the contribution of these medical equipment and supplies will enable safe delivery for mothers in Zanzibar,” said Dr. Serafina Mkuwa, Program Manager for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health, speaking on behalf of Amref Health Africa – Tanzania’s Country Director. These supplies will be beneficial to about 28 healthcare facilities in the five regions of Zanzibar that have the highest requirements. The distribution of medical supplies is now in its third phase, and it will continue with the help of dedicated stakeholders.

In support of corporate social responsibility (CSR), Absa Bank’s representative Rabia Aboud, Branch Manager Zanzibar, emphasized the bank’s readiness to work with communities to assist healthcare, especially maternal health, which is a major tenet of the bank’s CSR strategy. Rabia Aboud went on to say that Absa Bank understands the value of assisting partners like Amref in making a positive impact on healthcare and general well-being.

Over the course of three years (2022–2024), the Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging campaign seeks to raise funds for medical supplies and equipment by raising at least one billion Tanzanian shillings in cash and in-kind donations. Until the goal is met, the software will be available for actively engaging different supporters.

African Vaccine Market

Over $1 Billion Pledged to Develop ‘African Vaccine Market’

At a summit on Thursday, pharmaceutical companies, health organizations, and world leaders committed investment of $1.2 billion to create vaccines in Africa, a continent beset by multiple health problems, including an increasing number of cholera outbreaks.

At the summit’s opening ceremony in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator “will be an essential step towards a genuine African vaccine market.”

Macron told the meeting, which included leaders from Botswana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Ghana in addition to visiting ministries, health organizations, and pharmaceutical companies that three quarters of the cash will come from Europe.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said via video message that Germany will be contributing $318 million to the program.

The United States, Canada, Norway, Japan, and the Gates Foundation are among the other donors. France contributed $100 million and the United Kingdom $60 million.

African Union commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat told the summit that the program “may become a catalyst for promoting the pharmaceutical industry in Africa and fostering collaboration between member states.”

“99 percent of Africa’s vaccines are imported at a hefty cost,” he continued.

The Covid-19 outbreak brought attention to the unequal distribution of vaccinations around the world since wealthier nations with large pharmaceutical companies snatched up the majority of doses, putting Africa far behind.

In order to offer Africa more sovereignty and prevent history from being repeated, the new plan seeks to relocate vaccine production to the continent.

“The pressure to hold on to your own vaccines, for your own people, is always going to be irresistible when the next pandemic hits,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said at the meeting, “even if our leaders in the rich Western countries are angels.”

The necessity for more regional vaccine makers has been brought to light by the recent cholera outbreaks in several African countries. The only company in the world producing the affordable and efficient vaccination doses for the fatal illness is EuBiologics, located in South Korea.

Macron declared that outbreaks of cholera were now impacting “half of Africa” and demanded that it be “consigned to the past”.

He revealed that the South African biopharmaceutical company Biovac would start a cholera vaccine production chain in Africa.

“99 percent of Africa’s vaccines are imported at a hefty cost,” he said.

One of the organizers of Thursday’s Global Forum for Vaccine Sovereignty and Innovation was the Gavi vaccine alliance, which assists in providing vaccines for over 20 different diseases to underdeveloped nations.

Gavi declared during the summit that it needs to raise $9 billion in order to finance its vaccine initiatives between 2026 and 2030.

First Lady Jill Biden announced via video message that the United States will donate $1.58 billion to the Gavi initiative, and additional pledges are anticipated later on Thursday.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment that one million children have received vaccinations since 2000,” said Jose Manuel Barroso, head of Gavi.

“A child born today has a better chance of celebrating his or her fifth birthday than ever before in history,” he said.

However, millions of kids remain unvaccinated against any disease, and he continued, “hundreds of millions more need to access to more vaccines.”

In Africa, just 2% of the vaccines that are given are produced there. By 2040, the African Union wants to increase this percentage to 60%.

RSNA and GE HealthCare

RSNA and GE HealthCare Partner to Introduce Advanced Mammography Technology in Tanzania

The nation’s largest public hospital will benefit from the newest mammography technology as well as practical training to enhance breast cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and GE HealthCare recently announced a collaboration to provide mammography technology, training, and educational tools to radiologists at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), which is part of Muhimbili University of Health and Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania. The goal of this partnership is to improve access to breast cancer screenings and assist local clinicians in lowering the country’s cancer mortality rates. The largest city in Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, lacked a functional mammography machine in its public hospital.

In order to improve radiology teaching and patient care in established radiology departments in low- and middle-income nations, RSNA created the Global Learning Center (GLC) program. Under the program, RSNA members collaborate with an institution for three years to create a personalized curriculum that includes lectures, conferences, online courses, in-person training, and other educational resources. RSNA has locations in South Africa, Tanzania, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Armenia since the program’s launch in 2020.

Umar Mahmood, MD, PhD, head of RSNA’s board of directors, stated in the news release announcing the collaboration, “RSNA’s [GLC] program was designed to expand radiology education across the world and foster international collaborations.” “We are able to collaborate with local stakeholders at [MNH] to build a breast imaging curriculum, give in-person hands-on training in mammography, and offer online courses, technical assistance, and virtual support thanks to our relationship with GE HealthCare. By providing MUHAS with this vital technology and training, we can both save lives and increase access to high-quality patient care throughout the region.”

The National Nuclear Security Administration of the US Department of Energy provides funding for MUHAS, which is a component of the GLC program.

The Pristina Mammography Suite, which consists of 2D and 3D digital breast tomosynthesis, contrast enhanced mammography (CEM), CEM biopsy capabilities, and a Seno Iris workstation, will be installed at MUHAS as part of the new partnership with GE HealthCare. Additionally, GE HealthCare will maintain the system without requiring any modifications from the institution.

A GE HealthCare-issued certification will be awarded to the approximately twenty nurses, radiologists, and technicians who work in the suite after they successfully complete live trainings covering system operation, image interpretation, patient care, video tutorials, case study learning, and physician engagement through a peer learning network.

In addition to offering practical instruction and tools, the partnership will endeavor to educate Tanzanians on the significance of screenings and early detection. Jan Makela, GE HealthCare’s president and CEO of imaging, stated, “GE HealthCare is committed to helping reduce disparities in care and improving access to medical imaging worldwide.” We stay true to our goal by continuously searching for cutting-edge imaging technologies. In order to fulfill our promise, we also collaborate with groups like RSNA to take advantage of our unique skills and involve the international community in assisting in the removal of care-related barriers. Tanzania has some of the highest rates of breast cancer death worldwide, thus our collaboration with RSNA will help MUHAS get much-needed mammography equipment. We think that this combination of technology, training, and educational resources has the potential to assist thousands of women throughout Tanzania as early detection can save lives.”

Africa

Industry Engagement Forum Aims to Boost Health Product Manufacturing in Africa

The 2024 Industry Engagement Forum is scheduled for May 7-9, 2024, in Lagos, Nigeria. Its topic is “Unlocking Healthcare Value Chains and Driving Investment through Partnerships: Accelerating Equitable Access to Quality-Assured Sustainable Health Products.” The forum, which aims to accelerate equitable access to critically needed health products through creative partnerships and to encourage investment opportunities as interventions to boost local pharmaceutical manufacture, is expected to draw more than 300 people.

In collaboration with the Presidential Initiative on Unlocking Healthcare Value Chains (PVAC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the international health organization Unitaid are co-convening the forum. Through diverse alliances and significant financial commitments, the plan is a calculated decision to unlock billions in new investments and transform the health care landscape in Nigeria and throughout Africa.

Adopting a strategic strategy to bringing diagnostics, therapies, and medical equipment to Africa through bolstering domestic production will improve health security, expand long-term access to reasonably priced healthcare, and offer customized solutions for local requirements. This will also help meet climate targets by lowering transportation costs and carbon emissions, as well as the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Industrializing the health care industry is no longer an option. Future stability and growth depend on it, as stated by PVAC National Coordinator Dr. Abdu Mukhtar.

Participants in the forum will include representatives from the international and African healthcare sectors, as well as government agencies, research centers, regulatory bodies, industry associations, development partners, development finance institutions, donor organizations, and foundations that support access to medications and diagnostics. conversations on developing long-term regional value chains for health products will take place over the course of three days. These conversations are essential to attaining UHC and improving health security throughout the continent.

In order to demonstrate our dedication to bolstering regional manufacturing value chains and building robust health ecosystems, IFC is co-hosting this event in Africa. Dahlia Khalifa, IFC Regional Director for Central Africa, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, stated that Nigeria was an important choice for this event due to its robust pharmaceutical manufacturing sector and legislative improvements for universal health care.

Solomon Quaynor, Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization at AfDB, stated, “The African Development Bank is implementing a groundbreaking Pharmaceutical Action Plan with investment of $100 million annually to bolster Africa’s pharmaceutical ecosystem through strategic private and public sector interventions and partnerships.” “We will present our innovative Pharmaceutical Action Plan 2021–2030 and a range of financial and non-financial tools intended to empower the pharmaceutical private sector at the crucial Health Care Industry Engagement Forum.”

“Investing in the regional production of cost-effective, high-quality health products in Africa is a great idea right now. Robert Matiru, Director of Programs at Unitaid, stated that “the current state of global health, along with Africa’s expanding pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities, offers a unique chance to achieve more robust and self-sufficient health care systems across the continent.” “Localizing production strengthens local economies, lessens reliance on foreign supply chains, and increases access to essential health products.” For health care to be robust and sustainable, regional manufacturing must be strengthened. Collaboration among stakeholders is essential to realizing this objective.”

The 2024 Industry Engagement Forum (IEF) is a component of a global stakeholder engagement series aimed at advancing equitable access to health care solutions, advancing health innovation accessibility, and strengthening low- and middle-income nations’ ability to effectively prepare for and respond to health emergencies.