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Empowering African vaccine manufacturing: Africa CDC donates equipment to Sahpra

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Marking a pivotal step towards achieving the ambitious goal of producing 60% of the continent's vaccine needs by 2040, Africa CDC catalyses the future of vaccine manufacturing by gifting $750 000 worth of equipment to Sahpra to support regulatory functions.

The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) recently handed over equipment worth $750 000 to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to support its regulatory functions relating specifically to vaccine manufacturing.

In April 2021, the African Union Heads of States established the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM), hosted by the Africa CDC to steer a bold goal that will enable the African vaccine manufacturing industry to develop, produce, and sustainably increase supply from less than 1%, currently. Under the PAVM, key enablers have been identified that need to be strengthened to achieve this bold goal. Amongst others is the regulatory strengthening of the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) that must ensure the vaccines produced are safe and of good quality standards.

The Africa CDC worked with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-Nepad) to set priorities such as regulatory process harmonisation, engaging with and strengthening NRAs directly, support and strengthen the Regional Centres of Regulatory Excellence (RCORE) platform to facilitate vaccine regulatory oversight, as manufacturing of health products expands in Africa. The ceremony was attended by Africa CDC director general, Dr Jean Kaseya, and Sahpra CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela. “This donation is a proverbial breath of fresh air for Sahpra and, more importantly, for the African continent. This stellar initiative will provide much needed impetus for Sahpra to take bold steps to capacitate the authority and the continent in paving the way for renewed vigour and innovation on the continent,” said Dr Semete-Makokotlela.

“Africa CDC’s mission of safeguarding Africa’s health from disease threats such as pandemics will require viable and sustainable manufacturing of health products and technologies on the continent,” explained Dr Kaseya. “To achieve this noble mission, National Regulatory Authorities are our key partners.

Dr Kaseya said the handover ceremony marked an important step in Africa CDC’s commitment to support African manufacturing to ensure safe and effective vaccines are produced on the continent.

Under the PAVM, Sahpra is the first recipient of this support with a view to strengthening manufacturing in Africa. In addition, Africa CDC is working with four other NRAs to strengthen their capacities and capabilities to achieve the ambitious PAVM Goal: Manufacturing 60% of vaccine needs on the continent by 2040.

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