Pharmacists Back AfDB’s Plan to Invest N1.57tr in Vaccine Production by 2031

Posted on: Tue 18-05-2021

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has commended president and board members of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on its decision to invest $3 billion (N1.44 trillion) to build Africa’s pharmaceutical industry in the next 10 years and also supporting the Africa Centre for Disease Control (Africa CDC) with $28 million (N13.4 billion) to strengthen capacity for production of vaccines on the continent.

PSN President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, in a statement, yesterday, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of Africa, especially Nigeria, which depends largely on import for basic needs, including pharmaceuticals.”

He observed that the nationalism of vaccines and active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) leave all with no option but foresight and forthright projections.

The pharmacist said private businesses, especially the pharmaceutical sector, have been impacted negatively by the pandemic.

“So, this huge investment would ease our frustration of dearth of medicines and APIs and develop our local content through purposeful research tailored to need,” Ohuabunwa added.

The PSN boss prayed that the product of actual implementation be all-encompassing to include the last line in pharmaceutical care delivery.

MEANWHILE, on the occassion of the World Hypertension Day (WHD), medical experts have warned that the population of hypertensive patients would increase to 1.5 billion globally by 2025 if adequate attention were not given to the heart disease.

Chairman, Nigerian Heart Foundation, Prof. Basden Onwubere, told The Guardian, yesterday, more than one billion people are known to have hypertension and half of individuals living with it are unaware of their status worldwide.

He said: “A nationwide survey in Nigeria published about 20 years ago by Akinkugbe et al showed awareness level of hypertension of 30 per cent and recent publications have not shown any significant improvement.

Hypertension is known as cardiovascular risk factor with a significant number of global deaths attributable to its complications, which Nigerians have to be concerned about.”