African Health Ministers To Stop The Outbreak Of The Ebola Virus

Health Ministers and senior immigration officials of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the nine neighboring countries to DRC have resolved and committed their governments to establish the African Ebola Coordination Task Force (AfECT) to undertake cooperation and collaboration for Ebola preparedness and response.

During a ministerial meeting on cross boarder collaboration to prepare for and respond to the Ebola Virus disease in DRC, different health officials resolved that there is a need for the force to support cross boarder joint planning and implementation of Ebola preparedness and response activities.

Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng the Health Minister said this task force will bring on board coordinated support to countries suffering outbreaks. She also said: “We embrace this aspect of avenue in African Ebola coordination task force so that all partners that are supporting the country that has an outbreak are well-coordinated and it will help us avoid waste of resources.”

Establish the AfECT hosted at the African Union Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the leadership of the nine-member states with support from Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), WHO and other relevant partners to support the cooperation and collaboration.

Another resolution is to establish the AfECT. Now this task force will have political oversight over outbreaks like Ebola while WHO maintains technical capacity and advice that it gives to the countries.

Health officials who gathered in Goma DRC Congo to discuss the threat of Ebola have resolved to step up measures to minimize the spread of deadly disease. Ugandan officials subsequently discharged and repatriated the other recovering patients back to Congo.

Some of the other issues the health ministers resolved and committed their governments to do include cross boarder Ebola case and laboratory surveillance, cross border tracing and monitoring contacts among others. Some of the nine countries neighboring DRC include Angola, Burundi, Uganda, Zambia, among others.

Tanzania – 900bn Pharmaceutical Project To Attract Prospective Investors

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango (pictured) led government delegation to the conference met prospective investors, included OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Korean Kolon Corporation for detailed deliberations in the first day of the forum.

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango (pictured) led government delegation to the conference met prospective investors, included OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Korean Kolon Corporation for detailed deliberations in the first day of the forum.

According to the project description, the government wants to establish the general pharmaceutical plant under a Public Private Partnership under Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement.

The plant will be constructed in Kibaha, Coast region under the Medical Stores Department to produce drugs and other medical equipment for domestic as well as East African Community and SADC markets.

Dr Mpango said, “the project was good and it aligned with sustainable development goals on health. They said they could see the good prospects of the project.”

The government had lined eleven projects to be presented to prospective investors in the three-day Africa Investment Forum organised by the African Development Bank and partners Sandton Convention Centre to advance projects, raise capital and close financial deals.

Dr Mpango said the pharmaceutical plant would also create more jobs and trade opportunities and solve the problem of counterfeit medicines as it would be easier to monitor the quality standard.

Tanzania Government Has Embarked On A Sh1.2 Trillion ($517 Million) Pharmaceutical Project

The government expects to have signed contracts with investors willing to set up manufacturing sites in Mwanza, Mbeya and Kibaha under public-private partnership (PPP) by next June.

The government has embarked on a Sh1.2 trillion ($517 million) pharmaceutical project that will see three manufacturing plants being established through partnership with private investors.

The feasibility study for the project has been approved, and the next step is to identify partners as part of efforts to reduce the country’s reliance on pharmaceutical imports.

Dr John Mboya, the PPP commissioner in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, told the International Pharmaceuticals Investors Conference in Dar es Salaam that potential investors were assured of a ready market.

He further stated that, “these are feasible projects which may take four to six years to break even. The government has given assurance to the investors. We have the domestic, EAC and SADC markets.”

Dr Mboya added that the feasibility study had considered vital lessons from pharmaceutical industries in Kenya, Uganda and other countries.

A $63 million plant that will produce intravenous fluids is expected to be built in Mbeya, while Mwanza will be the location of a medical cotton wool manufacturing plant whose cost is estimated at $46 million. The general pharmaceutical factory at Kibaha is likely to cost $408 million, according to Dr Mboya.

According to the World Health Organisation, United Nations Comtrade and Business Monitor International, Tanzania’s pharmaceutical market is expected to grow to $700 million by 2021 from $450 million in 2017.

Trade and Industry minister Innocent Bashungwa, said, “Just recently, the government abolished 54 charges in an attempt to reduce the burden on investors. We also have tax incentives provided through the Tanzania Investment Centre, and the government is currently reviewing laws that are seen to impede business. Tanzania is the right place for you to invest.”

Ethiopian Government Invests In The Medical Industry

The Ethiopian government disclosed that its Chinese-built Kilinto Industrial Park (KIP) has improved the country’s ambition to attract experienced international pharmaceutical companies across the globe.

This industrial park, once fully finalized, will power the East African country’s potential to attract more foreign companies in the pharmaceutical sector as declared by The Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC).

They also announced the signing of investment agreements with 10 international companies that have “shown great interest” to set up their industrial plants inside the premises of KIP.

With 270-hectares of land on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the Kilinto Industrial Park is under construction by Chinese construction giant, Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (CTCEGCL), at a cost of 204 million U.S. dollars.

“The Kilinto Industrial Park is now on the verge of completion, and once completed it will host more than 1,000 pharmaceutical companies.” as stressed by EIC Deputy Commissioner Temesgen Telahun.

This project is completely financed by the World Bank, features 18-km of asphalt road, provision of basic social services, green spaces, warehouses, business centers and car parking space.

Communications Director at the Ethiopian Industry Parks Development Corporation, Adenan Bere, told Xinhua recently that the East African country expects the KIP, which is under construction exclusively for pharmaceutical firms, to attract world-class companies with a view to help Ethiopia’s economy through the export of pharmaceutical products as well as import-substitution.

Bere also noted that incorporation to attracting foreign firms to penetrate Ethiopia’s emerging pharmaceutical sector, the IPDC is also working with local financial institutions to support local firms to invest in the industrial park.

It is remarkable how Ethiopian government in recent years has been attracting foreign firms in the pharmaceutical sector and especially Chinese firms which are becoming among the major foreign firms in exerting their capital and technology in the sector.

Last year, Chinese pharmaceutical giant, Sansheng Pharmaceuticals Plc, also inaugurated its production plant in Ethiopia amid Ethiopia’s higher demand for import substitution in medicines. They began its first phase of production in June 2018 inside the premises of the Eastern Industry Zone on the outskirt of Ethiopia’s capital.

Ethiopia is at present constructing or has commissioned 15 industrial parks as part of a plan to turn the country into a light manufacturing hub in Africa by 2020.

Turkish Government Pledged To Provide Financial Support Towards Boosting The Health Sector In Kenya

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has on many occasions helped Lamu by sending doctors and specialists to undertake various medical camps.

The government of Turkey has pledged to provide financial support towards boosting the health sector in Lamu county.
The pledge was made by Turkish ambassador to Kenya Ahmet Miroglu during his tour of Lamu.

The TIKA programme which was founded in 1992 is responsible for the organisation of the bulk of Turkey’s official development assistance to developing countries.

Miroglu said Turkey would provide both financial help and manpower to help boost the functionality of the health institutions.

Apart from health, TIKA has also been implementing other projects in various counties, particularly in Agriculture, Education and many others.

Miroglu expressed his satisfaction with the management of King Fahad Referral Hospital as well as other health institutions. He lauded Lamu county government for the efforts to improve the sector.

He also said Turkey hopes to continue partnering with the Lamu county government and Kenya as a whole in providing the much needed medical assistance to the local communities.

Deputy Governor Abdulhakim Aboud lauded the Turkish government and the TIKA programme for their dedicated efforts in supporting health care institutions within the country.

Aboud further continued, “We’re happy for the existing cooperation between Lamu and Turkey. TIKA has been of great benefit not only to Lamu but the rest of the counties. We will continue to strengthen the relationship for the benefit of our people.”

In a bid to improve healthcare access, Lamu has enrolled more than 20,000 poor and vulnerable families into the free National Health Insurance Fund cover.

Tanzania Government Is Set To Open Medical Hubs With The Aim Of Improving Health Service Delivery In The Country

Opening a three – day training on Project ECHO in Dar es Salaam, the Ministry’s Assistant Director for Diagnostic Services, Dr Alex Magesa said that the government was working towards opening more hubs in all zonal hospitals and teaching institutions how to reach more participants.

The government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children is set to open more hubs to facilitate the implementation of a medical education and care management model with the aim of improving health service delivery in the country.

It is a hub-and-spoke educational model that allows subject matter experts in any field of concern to share their knowledge with frontline providers in underserved communities.

Dubbed Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO), the platform is set for practice-based education and training, service delivery, and outcomes research.

Dr Magesa said that currently there are three hubs, which are Kibong’oto, Bugando and National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Centre “With this rapid expansion, we need to maintain quality of information and programmes offered, that is why we have identified the need of having this training in the country.”

He said that the project was in line with the government intention to promote the use of technology to communicate rather than travelling long distances seeking for information.

Dr Magesa said although it had started as a training model for non -laboratory HIV Rapid testers, currently there were more than five ECHO models in the country focusing on HIV care and treatment, Tuberculosis (TB), safe surgery, HIV rapid testing training and Emergency Operation Centre (ECHO).

He further said, “this initiative is a lifelong learning and guided practice model that revolutionalises medical education and exponentially increase workforce capacity to provide best- practice specialty care and reduce health inequalities.”

Dr Magesa also explained that one class of 25 to 30 participants who travel from four to five districts to the region for a three day training costs about 14m/-, but through project ECHO the training could cost US dollars 3500 only.

He said Tanzania decided to embark on the programme because it was cost effective, reaches many professionals at a short time, a learn by doing modes, a mentoring model and to support President John Magufuli’s vision of utilising resources effectively.

He also noted that the difference between the two was that equipment of Project ECHO can be used repeatedly, hence widening the support.

The African Union (AU) Praised China For Its Continuous Support Of Public Health In Africa

A special site at the southern peripheral of Addis Ababa saw the arrival of officials from the AU and the Ethiopian government, and diplomats from the Chinese mission to the AU.
The site, which covers an area of 90,000 square meters, is designated to the much-needed Africa Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Africa CDC).

With help from China, the construction of the CDC headquarters will soon begin.
This project is part of the commitment China made last year to the African people.

During the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China has decided to upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, particularly flagship projects such as the headquarters of the Africa CDC.

Amira Elfadil, the AU commissioner for Social Affairs said that the CDC headquarters were scheduled to start construction by 2020, the AU will work closely with the Ethiopia government to finish the preparations by the end of this year.

The Chinese government will help the AU and Ethiopia with the project’s design and construction, and will further provide help in essential equipment, which are followed by personnel training, and operational and technical assistance from China once the construction completes.

The layout of the CDC includes at least one emergency response center, an information center, laboratories, a library, a press conference room, a training center as well as offices and expert apartments, emerging to be the best facility for disease control and prevention in Africa.

Head of the Chinese mission Liu Yuxi said that China and Africa are good brothers, friends, and partners, also noting that the CDC headquarters will soon be a new landmark of this partnership.

Tesfaye Yilma, the Ethiopian ambassador to the bloc, said that the CDC headquarters is yet another example of the concrete partnership between China and Africa.

Elfadil hailed the Chinese people for their support of Africa’s healthcare development, noting that China has continued to send medical experts here, including their CDC personnel.

Kenya Has Set Out To Make Rapid Progress Towards Improving Health Care

Kenya gears towards universal health care as the government through the Ministry of Health is pledged to improving the livelihood of Kenyans through provision of efficient and high- quality health care system.

Speaking during the launch of KHSDI survey report 2018/2022 in Nairobi, the Ministry of Health Director General, Wekesa Masasabi said that for Kenya to make rapid progress towards Universal Health Care (UHC), a health system needs to have skilled human resources, minimum inputs such as drugs, commodities and infrastructure, financing, leadership and governance and health information system.

“We want to make sure that medical equipment is available since most of the population access care at public health facilities,” Masasabi added.

The National Treasury Principal Secretary (PS), Dr. Julius Muia said that government through the vision 2030, has tried to improve the livelihood of Kenyans through sufficient and quality health care which is in line with the constitution of Kenya (2010) which stipulates that every Kenyan has a right to the highest standard of healthcare services.

Muia further called upon the government to boost its investment in human resources for health in provision of clinical guidelines to health workers and diagnostic equipment to health facilities in both public and private hospitals.

The KHSDI report has been prepared in consultation with the government of Kenya under the Ministry of Health.

The SDI heath survey team visited a sample of 3, 094 health facilities across Kenya, with data collection from all the 47 counties remaining the largest to date.

Health Ministry Has Unveiled Plans To Introduce Medical Drones

The Health Ministry has introduced new medical drones that will help in the delivery of life-saving medicine, vaccines, and blood during emergencies.

The system will need health workers to place orders by text message and receive their deliveries in 30 minutes on average.

The commissioner clinical services, Dr. Charles Olaro, told the New Vision that they are engaged in discussions with a number of partners in the process of introducing medical drones. The approach is good and that the discussions were among others exploring the modalities of financing.

“The partner is finalising on how it is going to be financed and be able to see how to pull other partners who can support it,”Olaro said.

Globally, access to essential health products is hampered by the difficulty of supplying medicines from central storage to remotely located patients at the time of need.

The president of Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Dr. Ekwaro Obuku, said if the medical drones are introduced they will help to speedily deliver drugs to hard to reach areas especially when there are stock-outs of medicines.

Obuku also mentioned, “The medical drones can be effective, cost-saving and time-saving in quick delivery of life-saving medicines and blood to health facilities.”

Early this year, Ghana inaugurated medical delivery drones in the city of Omenako.
The drones designed by Zipline, a California-based robotics company have benefited 12 million people all over the country.

Up to 600 daily drone flight are made to deliver vaccines, blood supplies and life-saving medicines to 2,000 health centres in remote areas across the country.

Over 2,000 People Received Free Dental And Medical Treatment In Morogoro Region

As a part of a free health services arrangement supported by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (Tika), over 2,000 people from Morogoro region received dental and medical treatment.
People from all walks of life gathered at the Mchikichini A and Mchikichini B Primary schools, where health experts from Tika had camped to deliver free health consultations, testing and treatment.

The responsibility went along with providing support to children in Upanga, where there is a children’s retention home in Dar es Salaam, as part of the Turkish cooperation and support programs to African countries.
Upanga Children Retention home was established in 1962 with the aim of retaining accused children below 18 years old who are in conflict with laws.
The home was established purposely to make sure children are separated from the group of accused adult detention.

Darivs Kalijongo, Upanga Retention home Manager, mentioned the challenges that face the Upanga Retention Home, such as absence of proper programs for supporting children’s behavior modification, and a small budget for fuel to take and collect children from courts located outside the city including Chalinze (Msoga), Bagamoyo, Mkuranga, Kisarawe and Kibaha.

Mr Kalijongo also thanked other partners and good Samaritans from different parts of Dar es Salaam and beyond, including Tanganyika Law Society, WILAC, Ilala Municipal Council and the social welfare committee for their material and moral support to the retention home.

Tika’S Country Director Halil Ibrahim Okur mentioned that Tika decided to provide equipment to the children’s retention home so that the children can benefit and use them for their betterment as they continue with social cultural and education activities in the retention home.

Tika has provided television set and decoders, computers, desks, solar energy, beds and mattresses, renovation of the retention home with pavement and painting of the home for the children.

Tika’S Country Director Halil Ibrahim Okur the agency is performing many projects in other African countries and Tanzania is considered to be important to them.
He said they are executing this project to support government initiatives and showing solidarity.

At present, 10 Turkish dentists are volunteering in delivering health service at Muhimbili National Hospital as part of Tika’s program.