African governments have a role to play in expanding and modernising healthcare architecture to guarantee health security to the continent’s populace in light of a projected doubling of the continent’s population by 2050.
Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga said this yesterday during a virtual address of the 16th edition of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership.
“This session, whose focus is on setting the new milestones for India-Africa partnership, provides a unique platform to deliberate on innovative ways of buttressing Africa’s healthcare system.
“It is pertinent to note that Africa’s population of 1,3 billion is projected to double by the year 2050,” said VP Chiwenga.
“The population increase beckons the continent to expand and modernise its healthcare architecture to guarantee health security of its member states. The 16th edition of the conclave comes amidst a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The impact of the pandemic has left most of the globe and indeed Africa’s health care systems overstretched. The vulnerability is a real challenge to the provision of public health to our citizens,” said VP Chiwenga.
He noted that Africa was yet to produce its own Covid-19 vaccine, urging the continent to emulate India and grow its production capacity.
VP Chiwenga has consistently challenged local pharmaceutical companies to look beyond their largely retail role and invest in the production of medical consumables.
The low production capacity is at just 12 percent of the country’s total medical consumables, a threshold which he said was at variance with the country’s industrialisation strategy as espoused by President Mnangagwa.
VP Chiwenga said a modern country should not rely on medical consumables from other countries, a situation he said was a huge risk factor.
“A modern state should not mortgage its health security to external players because health security has a bearing on the national security of individual states.”
“This is a tremendous summit bringing together key stakeholders from the African continent, the Indian government and industry on one platform.
“The event seeks to expand and deepen long standing trade cooperation between our countries and India. The development will help us realise our common visions and aspirations of enhancing the quality of our health care systems,” said VP Chiwenga.
He urged African countries to leverage on excellent relations with India to boost local production.
The summit, which is being held virtually in compliance with Covid-19 containment measures, started yesterday and is expected to end tomorrow.