India has proposed a facility that will enable Zimbabwe to buy essential drugs and medicines direct from it saving the country millions of dollars by circumventing middlemen while five ambulances will be delivered before the end of October , a diplomat has said.
Handing over a consignment of medical products worth USD$300 000 to National Pharmaceutical Company in Harare yesterday, Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Masakui Rangsung said this will result in the country buying medicines directly from India at wholesale price.
“I understand that only 20 percent of drugs are locally manufacture and the remaining 80 percent is imported. Sixty percent of the imported drugs comes from India therefore, this move will ensure a steady supply of pharmaceutical products,” he said.
Ambassador Masakui said India was committed to helping Zimbabwe fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would like to reiterate that, even as India struggles under this situation, our Prime Minister firmly believes and is committed to supporting our friendly countries as this fight calls for global cooperation.”
The consignment handed over yesterday had 134 items of medical products and the fifth tranche of medicines will soon be shipped with a cold chain facility.
“I would also like to update on the progress of 10 ambulances for donation to Zimbabwe. They are in the process of assembling…Hopefully by end of October at least five units should be ready for handover.
Speaking at the same event, Health and Childcare Deputy Minister Dr Chamunorwa Mangwiro, thanked India for the donation welcomed the proposal saying government will consider the idea which would also strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
“If we are able to buy medicines directly from India, we will avoid third parties that inflate drug prices and make them unaffordable to the ordinary people. Buying directly will also save the country millions of dollars,” he said.
India also donated 1 000 tonnes of rice which will arrive in Harare soon.