West African scientists to boost COVID-19 vaccine production

HEALTHDIGEST– Medical laboratory and research scientists from West Africa are set to chart a course that will assist in building local capacity for the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and other medical products in the sub-region.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Public Relations and Outreach Lead, CelebrateLAB Conference, Efam Dovi, disclosed this yesterday in a statement in Lagos.

Dovi noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 disease saw West Africa, and indeed Africa, suffer inequity in access to masks, diagnostic devices, testing kits and other medical supplies, as well as vaccines.

“While health inequity against the continent is not new, the COVID-19 pandemic reopened the conversation on ensuring the continent’s self-sufficiency in healthcare products and solutions through local manufacturing to expand access to healthcare.This effort will require wider collaboration across the region to ensure that the needed expertise and resources are available to create the right environment for product manufacturing.”

“Critical among these initiatives will be building professional expertise in clinical research and health diagnostics to ensure that medical products manufactured in Africa are suitable for Africans,” she said.

Dovi added that medical laboratory and research scientists from West Africa would converge at the CelebrateLAB West Africa Conference in Accra, Ghana, from April 21 to 22.

She said the conference would proffer solutions to enhance laboratory capacity in human resources, clinical research, vaccines and other medical products manufacturing in West Africa.