Friday, 13 March 2020

Coronavirus’ll strengthen Ghana’s drug production, says president

Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, says the country will be taking advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic to strengthen the

domestic production of pharmaceutical products in the country.

This is just as the West African country records its first index cases of COVID-19, joining its regional neighbours including Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Senegal, amongst others.

A statement on Thursday from Ghana’s Ministry of Health signed by the Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, states that the country’s first cases is a Turkish returnee and a Norwegian returnee.

The minister says, “Laboratory results of the two confirmed cases were received at the same time from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

“Both individuals returned from Norway and Turkey. So these are imported cases of COVID-19.

“Both patients are currently being kept in isolation and are stable. We have initiated a process for contact tracing.”

Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo is optimistic that the crisis will help the country advance domestic drug production and reduce foreign imports.

In an address, Akufo-Addo says the country is talking with health stakeholders to explore local production of essential materials to combat COVID-19.

He directs the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make $100 million available to enhance the country’s response plan.

“We have begun to engage with the domestic pharmaceutical industry to assist in producing as much of the logistics required to prevent and combat the virus as it is possible under the circumstances.

“Indeed, we must take advantage of this crisis to strengthen our domestic productive capacity, so we can advance our self-reliance, and reduce our dependence on foreign imports.

“Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention,” says the Ghanaian president.

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