KENYA – The Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) has called for the Government of Kenya to fast track the ratification of the treaty for the establishment of African Medicines Agency (AMA) as well as secure hosting of AMA in Kenya.

The African Medicines Agency is a proposed specialized agency of the African Union intended to facilitate the harmonization of medical regulation throughout the African Union.

The agency also seeks to encourage pharmaceutical knowledge sharing between African countries as well as expand access to effective, safe and quality medicines for patients to support the continent’s fight against health crises.

A treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency recently came into force and the next step in transforming the AMA from a treaty to an actual institution is to decide on a host country for the agency’s headquarters.

Despite the treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency, Kenya is among the countries that have neither signed nor ratified the treaty.

The Kenya Healthcare Federation has urged the government to support the establishment of the African drug regulator which seeks to improve regulation of medicines, medical products and technologies.

Research, development and production of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa is critical to ensure sustainable supply of vaccines to enable a quicker response to other infectious agents in the future,” read the KHF press release.

The African Continental Agency will also advance the implementation of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan of Africa which will further cement the business case for Kenya as a Hub for high quality health products and health technologies.

Consequently, Kenya’s healthcare delivery will attract investments in biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, related medical products and infrastructure which will ultimately ensure the country is a sustainable supplier of pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and service delivery.

The Kenya Healthcare Federation applauded Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the Kenya Government for securing the deal for Moderna Inc to set up a US$500 million manufacturing facility in Kenya which is expected to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year.

KHF explained that the Kenya healthcare system has a large well-trained and skilled workforce including specialists in advanced medical facilities spread across the public and private sector that makes Kenya ideal for the Moderna vaccine manufacturing plant.

The healthcare federation further noted that establishment of the Moderna Manufacturing Facility and AMA presents benefits to the country such as sustainable supply chains, technology transfer, knowledge transfer as well as skills transfer.

Others opportunities include manufacturing complex and more advanced medicines along with economic empowerment through creation of new quality jobs and export opportunities.

It could be a rewarding investment for companies, governments and funders since Africa’s demand for vaccines already makes up about a quarter of global vaccine volume and is expected to increase with the region’s estimated 2.5% annual population growth,” the Kenya Healthcare Federation outlined.

The health body further stated that Kenya is well equipped with expertise for vaccine research, clinical trials, epidemiological studies and pharmacovigilance studies thus the manufacturing plant would ramp up Kenya’s human vaccine resources and contribute to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.

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