President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the country remains focused on the agenda to develop and manufacture vaccines locally.
“At the height of COVID-19, I declared to the Ghanaian people my determination to help manufacture vaccines here in Ghana,” the President recalled while commissioning the National Vaccine Institute Secretariat in Accra, on Wednesday and reiterated commitment to the agenda.
The Secretariat is designed to facilitate the work of the Institute.
The Institute is expected to coordinate and facilitate the capacity of domestic pharmaceutical companies to fill, finish and package messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), COVID-19, malaria and tuberculosis vaccines, and, ultimately, to manufacture them here in Ghana.
“The vaccine nationalism that was played out by the developed world, with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, meant that we had to take urgent, critical steps towards making sure that never again would we be victims or pawns of the international vaccine order.
“It was imperative that we took our destiny into our own hands,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said.
Prior to commissioning the Secretariat, he inaugurated the Governing Board of the Institute, which is chaired by Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah.
The other members are Prof. William Ampofo, Dr. Baffuor Awuah, Mr. Mustapha Tawiah Kumah, Dr. Daniel Gyingiri Achel, Ms Frederica Sala Illiasu, Dr. Delese Darko, Prof. Alex Dodoo, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Mr. Kofi Nsiah-Poku, Prof. Kofi Opoku Nti, Prof. Gordon A. Awandare, and Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, set-up, on 28th February 2021, the Vaccine Manufacturing Committee, which, by Act of Parliament, has now been transformed into the National Vaccine Institute.
The move was necessitated by the Government’s determination to see the country building its own capacity to develop and manufacture vaccines locally, following the COVID-19 pandemic, which exposed the inadequacies developing nations faced in their healthcare delivery systems.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that less than one per cent of all vaccines used on the continent are produced locally.
President Nana Akufo-Addo pointed out the need for Africa to work assiduously to overcome the region’s intense vulnerability and overdependence on foreign medical supplies.
The commissioning of the National Vaccine Institute Secretariat comes in the wake of the recent ground-breaking ceremony for work to commence on the DEK Vaccine Manufacturing Factory, at Medie-Kotoku, in the Greater Accra Region,
The project, being spearheaded by the DEK Vaccines Limited, a private sector-led consortium of Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies, on completion, will build the country’s capacity to manufacture 600 million doses of vaccines annually.