Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga Friday Zimbabwe has the capacity to be self-sufficient and, therefore, must work towards producing its own goods and services including medicines and medical consumables.
The former military boss made the remarks at a personal protective equipment (PPE) exhibition running under the theme: Enhancing the availability of locally made Covid-19 PPEs through collaboration with State universities and local manufacturers.
VP Chiwenga said Natpharm — the State medicine procurement entity – would now buy all their PPE requirements from local manufacturers after he was impressed by their capabilities. He said:
Going forward, we need to develop our capacities and never beg again in future but to do things ourselves. The exhibition is a clear testimony of the vast and untapped potential which the nation has, to produce its own goods and services including medicines and medical consumables as we march towards an upper-middle-income society by 2030 as enunciated by his Excellency the President, Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
Let us develop that capability to develop and build our country. Technology is not a preserve for anyone. If we do not have that technology, we acquire it.
A total of $800 million has been paid by the Government through Natpharm to local producers for the supply of PPEs since manufacture started in a major way last year at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vice President Chiwenga also urged universities spearheading local production to invest their proceeds into the production of other medical consumables and to target the export market.
He praised local producers for stepping up their activity in the production of PPEs which boosted the country’s response to the global pandemic.
Acting Natpharm managing director Air Commodore (Rtd) Ivan Dumba said the response by State universities was a sign of their potential and capabilities in the manufacturing of essential medicines.
More: The Herald