Tanzania Getting A Boost From A New Partnership For Maternal Health Emergency Transportation System

At the USAID “Democracy Delivers” event held in conjunction with the UN General Assembly, the government of Tanzania, Vodafone Foundation, and USAID pledged to develop a maternal health emergency transportation system that now ensures hospital transportation for thousands of Tanzanian women. Samia Suluhu Hassan, the president of Tanzania, requested a cooperation to extend this initiative across the entire nation. In response, USAID and the Vodafone Foundation pledged $15 million, with $10 million coming from the Vodafone Foundation and $5 million from USAID. Vice President Philip Mpango, who was the government of Tanzania’s representative at the event, pledged to pay for all transportation expenses as well as to provide dispatch personnel right away.Through such initiatives, the program’s reach will be expanded from two districts, which are home to around 1 million people, to Tanzania’s 60 million inhabitants.

In to replicate this model in other sub-Saharan African countries with high rates of maternal mortality, Vodafone Foundation further pledged an additional $5 million, bringing its total investment to $15 million. To replicate Tanzania’s successes elsewhere, USAID will explore further into opportunities to collaborate with the Vodafone Foundation.

Vodafone Foundation and USAID developed a free ride-sharing programme for expectant mothers as part of a 2013-2020 maternal health programme in the Sengerema/Buchosa and Shinyanga districts. In accordance with the programme, a woman experiencing a maternal emergency dials a toll-free number, a health worker takes down her information, and a dispatcher uses that information to find the closest hospital and private taxi driver. The driver is paid when the patient is delivered to the health centre. The initiatives, which cost less than the cost of one ambulance and have transported more than 15,000 women and newborns to date, are now fully funded by the local governments in both pilot areas.

Joakim Reiter, Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer at Vodafone and Trustee of a Vodafone Foundation, announced a commitment as part of a panel discussion on how businesses and foundations can work with developing democracies that was hosted by Administrator Power, who also announced USAID’s commitment.

Africa’s potential pharmaceutical hub: Rwanda

The pharmaceutical industry is paying attention to Rwanda, which is quickly becoming a focal point of African attempts to improve regulatory harmonisation, increase access to and cost of medications, and develop a sustainable domestic pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing industry.

The Rwandan government has a goal of developing their nation into a regional centre for the manufacture and delivery of vaccines and medications throughout the continent of Africa. It has carefully positioned Rwanda as a major player in the continent’s pharmaceutical and vaccine production technology in recent years.

In terms of developing its pharmaceutical industry, Rwanda has achieved considerable strides throughout time. The Rwanda Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was established by law in 2018. Its explicit mission is to safeguard public health by policing drugs for humans and animals, vaccinations, and medical equipment.

The foundation of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF) in Rwanda was authorised by the African Development Bank in June 2022 with the goal of bolstering the continent’s pharmaceutical sector, as well as its industrial and healthcare facilities. The collaboration between Rwanda and numerous regulatory agencies from EU member states was also announced in June by the EU. Following this declaration, a groundbreaking ceremony for Kigali’s first mRNA vaccines facility, which is being developed by the German company BioNTech, took place.

The African Medicines Agency (AMA), which seeks to synchronise the regulatory frameworks for pharmaceutical products throughout Africa, received approval from the African Union’s Executive Council in July 2022 to set up its headquarters and secretariat in Rwanda.

In order to boost the workforce capability of Africa’s pharmaceutical business, Bloom Public Health, an African public health think tank organisation, is planning the development of the African Pharmaceutical Academy (APA) in Rwanda in July 2022.

The APTF, AMA, and APA will assist the regional pharmaceutical market on the continent and improve Africa’s pharma sector’s ability to compete internationally.