West Africa nears local vaccine production: official

CFP Photo
CFP Photo

West Africa edges close to starting local vaccine production for various health conditions in the subregion, an official from the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) said Friday.

Stanley Okolo, the Director-General of WAHO, made the remarks at a press briefing after the 23rd Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly of Economic Community of West African States Health Ministers.

He said that the sub-region would start manufacturing vaccines for health conditions including COVID-19, yellow fever, rabies, and snake bites, to become self-sufficient in vaccine production and availability.

“We brought together five candidate companies whom our assessment shows are close to vaccine manufacturing now in our region. Two of them are from Ghana, two from Nigeria, and one from Senegal,” said Okolo.

In the medium-to-long term, he said the West African region could produce 22 vaccines after strengthening the pharmaceutical industry.

The director-general also noted that WAHO has partnered with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to develop road-maps for getting pharmaceutical companies onto good manufacturing practice, a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.