Africa|Export|Health|Manufacturing|SECURITY|Sustainable|Technology|Manufacturing |Products
Africa|Export|Health|Manufacturing|SECURITY|Sustainable|Technology|Manufacturing |Products

Aspen pledges support to ensure equitable Covid-19 vaccine access in Africa

31st May 2021

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer


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Multinational specialty pharmaceutical company Aspen has committed to making sterile manufacturing capacity available for equitable Covid-19 vaccine access for Africa, as part of the continent’s efforts to determine how it can expand its manufacturing capacity to establish supply across the continent.

Aspen CEO Stephen Saad presented during a high-level seminar on manufacturing vaccines in Africa on May 29, which was hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Saad’s address reiterated that Aspen had been at the forefront of the fight against other global pandemics including HIV/Aids, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and, more recently, Covid-19.

Aspen’s contribution to this fight, to date, has been through its ongoing supply of dexamethasone and lifesaving anaesthetics, which have played an important role in this regard throughout Europe and globally.

Aspen is now, however, shifting its Covid-19 focus to assist in ensuring equitable access to vaccines for less developed countries, with a particular emphasis on African countries.

While Aspen was able to make the required investments to ensure Africa’s reduced reliance on the importation of vaccines, there was a need for certainty on sustainable demand, as well as for assistance with licences and technology transfers.

“No country wants to see another suffer, yet vaccine nationalism has emerged as a notable challenge, especially considering that it is difficult to expect any country to export medical products before meeting the health needs of its own people,” Saad lamented.

He suggested that the answer to equitable access to these and other critical lifesaving medicines is to “capacitate Africa to serve its own people”, elaborating that for the sake of health security and sustainability, it is “critical that Africa collaborates with the international community to ensure security of demand, underwritten through long-term offtakes, and the facilitation of technology licences and transfers”.

Demand underwrite fosters investment confidence and, more importantly, allows factories to undertake planned investments, remain active, retaining and enhancing experience of the workforce on the continent, Saad said.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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