The Sunday News
Gibson Mhaka, Senior Reporter
THE African Centre for Global Health Innovation and Research (ACGHIR), in partnership with the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has collaborated with medicines manufacturing company Zimbabwe Pharmaceuticals (ZimPharm) in capacitating pharmacy personnel in Matabeleland North Province as well as provide home-grown solutions to some of the country’s health problems.
The training will also help pharmacist with compounding, small-scale manufacturing and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) skills. The initiative which is expected to spearhead the resuscitation and operationalisation of Hospital Medicines Manufacturing Units (HMMUs) is part of the institution’s aim to complement its efforts in developing home-grown solutions that will result in improved health and well-being of all people, as articulated in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030.
The capacity building is also in line with the Second Republic’s determination to leave no one and no place behind in national development as well as to address skills’ flight in the country’s health sector.
Speaking to Sunday News, ACGHIR founding director Mr Lemson Machibiza a certified implementation research scientist, pharmaceutical and supply chain management expert, said the capacity building which was being piloted in Matabeleland North Province at the request of the provincial medical directorate was expected to be implemented in the province initially before national roll-out.
“This will go a long way in ensuring functional HMMUs, uninterrupted medicines supply and build local capacity, a key attribute for universal health access and universal health coverage, in line with the National Development Strategy (NDS1).
“As per President Mnangagwa’s thrust on devolution and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for efficiency in line with Vision 2030, the joint effort of ACGHIR, Nust and ZimPharm is innovating this training in the country’s southern region (Matabeleland North, South, Bulawayo, Midlands and Masvingo provinces) which previously did not have access to such.
“This is also part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and way of giving back to the community. Engagement with relevant authorities to spearhead the national roll-out of this innovative training and capacity building is also underway. The successful revitalisation and operationalisation of HMMUs in our hospitals is vital for commodity security and ensuring access to health care products for all,” said Mr Machibiza.
He said ACGHIR and ZimPharm were ready to offer technical support towards operationalisation of the HMMUs and facilitate sourcing of the essential raw active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients through pooled procurement so that HMMUs were functional and play their part in ensuring uninterrupted supply of medicines.
“Home-grown solutions to challenges bedeviling our nation are essential for the development of our country and the nation’s quest to become a middle-income country by 2030. Reviving and subsequent establishment of vibrant hospital medicines manufacturing units is in line with our own Ministry of Health and Child Care National Health Strategy 2020-2025, the NDS1 and the AU Agenda 2063 in our quest for national medicines manufacturing self-sufficiency,” said Mr Machibiza.
ACGHIR is the second private research and training centre for pharmacy technicians and dispensary assistants in the country after Harare Institute of Public Health (HIPH) which opened in 2009. It is registered with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Technology Development and Higher Education Examinations Council (HEXCO) and accredited with the Pharmacists Council of Zimbabwe (PCZ).
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