Manufacturing Quality Medicines In Africa For Africans
One of our recent engagements is helping a Canadian company set up manufacturing facilities in 12 African countries. Producing medicines in-country will be a game changer for families all over the continent, as well as turn our client's business into a multi-billion-dollar global operation.
A Canadian company is establishing itself as both an exporter of medicines to Africa, and also setting up manufacturing facilities in-country to supply African populations with reliable, high-quality medicines and medical products. Recent international news continues to report critical shortages of essential medicines that we take for granted as being available in the West, leading to more early deaths and chronic sicknesses in Africa that could be prevented with proper access. Shortages of essential medicines because of unreliable or basically non-existent supply chains also creates a market for counterfeit medicines for conditions such as cancer and HIV. With a lack of quality control, counterfeit products mostly from India are very prevalent. Not only do these bogus medicines have zero efficacy, they can be an outright danger to one's health, and creates mistrust around so-called 'Western' medicines. This leads some to deny themselves treatment, or turn to traditional medicines instead. While traditional medicines do work to alleviate some minor ailments, in the case of severe illnesses they have no effect at all. This results in delayed treatment or lack of treatment altogether. In some rural areas there is no medicine available whatsoever; there, people will choose the local witch doctor instead, not only from lack of available medicines and medical staff, but because they believe it will work better than pills subscribed by a medical doctor. The mistrust of Western medicines in some areas is rooted both in tradition and in the knowledge that bogus medicines are widespread and can't be trusted, containing no more than sugar powder or perhaps even truly toxic substances. What we would never tolerate in the West, lack of access to quality medicines, lack of medicines altogether, and bogus medicines, are rampant problems here. I'm here in Central Southern Africa travelling to meet with Ministers of Health as we help build in-country capacity for quality medicines. This will supply access to safe and effective quality drugs, address chronic shortages, while creating new economic opportunities and jobs in countries where the unemployment rates are greater than the employment rates. I will keep you posted on developments as our projects progress. In the meantime, it's 24 degrees Celsius today, sunny in the morning, heavy rains in the afternoon. The T-bone and Windhoek for dinner were excellent. Hello from the heart of the world.