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Health experts converge to discuss vaccine production in West Africa

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

Medical Laboratory and research scientists from different parts of West Africa have converged in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, to deliberate on how the subregion can scale up local capacity for the manufacturing of vaccines.

The annual conference, tagged “CelebrateLAB West Africa 2022,” which is the 8th edition, starts Wednesday (Today) and ends on Thursday.

Africabio Enterprises Inc, organizers of the conference explained that it aims to bring together about 150 delegates and several virtual participants from across the subregion.

The participants are majorly medical laboratory scientists, research professionals, academia, regulators, policymakers, and medical product manufacturers and suppliers.

According to a statement issued by Africabio, “CelebrateLAB West Africa 2022 Conference is on the theme: “Ensuring Diagnostic Capability and Vaccine Sufficiency as Panacea to Combating Infectious Diseases in West Africa.

“It will take place at Alisa Hotel in Accra, Ghana, from 20-21 April.”

It also stated that this year’s theme will focus on building laboratory capacity in the area of human resources, clinical research, vaccines and other medical products manufacturing in West Africa.

“Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia will deliver the keynote address, stressing the need to strengthen health systems across West Africa, by applying the lessons learnt from the current COVID-19 pandemic and previous disease outbreaks, to prepare the region’s health systems beyond the current pandemic.

Ghana’s Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is the special guest of honour.

“Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 disease, West Africa, and indeed, Africa as a whole suffered 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, in order to expand access to healthcare,” it added.

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