President Edgar Lungu says he will send Health Minister Joseph Kasonde and other experts to Uganda to learn more from the drug manufacturing factory in the East African nation’s capital, Kampala.
Speaking after touring Cipla Quality Chemical Industries (Cipla QCI) Limited that supplies an assortment of drugs including Anti-Retroviral (ARVs) to countries in East Africa, President Lungu said he was overwhelmed by the amount of investment in the factory and that he has decided to send a delegation to visit the plant from the Health Ministry.
President Lungu said he would for this reason be sending Dr Kasonde and other experts to the factory to facilitate further engagement with the company.
President Lungu said the factory was Africa’s pride adding that it was justifiable to support the firm.
He wondered why the drugs firm has not been marketed at international forums such as the African Union in order to attract African countries to import their drug supply from Uganda.
Earlier, Cipla QCI Executive Chairman Emmanuel Katongole said the factory was an example of an African solution to an African problem.
Mr Katongole said the setting up of the plant has improved the availability of drugs in Uganda which has translated in the reduction of Malaria and HIV/AIDS related deaths in Uganda.
He said it was sad that although Africa accounts for 80 percent of the global disease burden, the continent’s share in manufacturing medicines was only two percent.
Mr Katongole further expressed sadness that African countries were still buying medicines from outside the continent.