In a bid to overhaul and strengthen the vaccines market across the African continent, the Germany based pharmaceutical giant Merck has recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding with a project management firm, Ridge Management Solutions to build the first, state-of-the-art vaccines manufacturing facility in Ghana. With the announcement of the latest MoU, Ghana would reportedly become the first nation in Sub-Saharan Africa to have a full-fledged human vaccine manufacturing plant that is likely to transform the healthcare and medical devices industry in Africa, cite experts.
As has been reported, the new facility is aimed at achieving an alignment with the African Union’s (AU) Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan for Africa (PMPA) and to stimulate free trade within the continent. Furthermore, the project would also resolve the bottlenecks in the supply chain of the local vaccines market. For the record, the AU Assembly had mandated the AU Commission to bring out the PMPA within the structure prescribed by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the economic development program of the AU, in 2005.
Concurrently, as part of the collaboration, both the companies have agreed to jointly lay out a plan to design, construct, and install the equipment along with facilitating validation support, transfer of technology, and training the staff. Reportedly, the latest MoU is a conclusion of the deliberations that were held between the two firms over a period of two years.
Speaking on the development, Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was quoted stating that the project would not only prove to be of immense significance for Ghana alone but for the whole vaccines industry of Africa as well.
Meanwhile, it would be prudent to mention that the announcement of MoU comes at a time when the country has been facing a severe outbreak of meningitis and swine flu, which has necessitated a wide scale vaccination campaign.