South Africa, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria considered as vaccine production hubs-WTO

AFRICA – Africa is working with the European Union and other partners to establish regional vaccine manufacturing hubs in South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda. Nigeria is also under consideration for the program, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said. “We have now seen that over-centralization of vaccine production capacity is incompatible with equitable access in a crisis situation,” Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday during a virtual meeting. Regional production hubs, in tandem with open supply chains, will offer a more promising path to preparedness for future health crisis…

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South Africa to host African coronavirus vaccine technology transfer hub

AFRICA – South Africa will host the continent’s first COVID-19 vaccine production facility, a new hub for Messenger RNA coronavirus vaccine technology, WHO has announced. The move comes after the WHO issued an expression of interest in April, to establish COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hubs to scale up production and access to COVID vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The WHO describes the transfer hubs as training facilities, where the technology is established at industrial scale and clinical development performed. Interested manufacturers from LMICs can receive training and…

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New program reveals high burden of undiagnosed or poorly controlled diseases in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – A comprehensive health-screening program in rural South Africa has found a high burden of undiagnosed or poorly controlled non-communicable diseases, according to a study by the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI). Researchers have found that four out of five women over the age of 30 are living with a chronic health condition, and that the HIV-negative population and older people bare the higher burden of undiagnosed or poorly controlled non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The study which was co-led by Emily Wong, M.D., a resident…

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Private hospital group Mediclinic strike a bargain with Moshesh Partners to deploy solar power in hospitals

SOUTH AFRICA – Private hospital group Mediclinic has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with renewable energy producer Moshesh Partners to deploy a solar photovoltaic (PV) system in six of its hospitals. Mediclinic has made this move not so long after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a decision to raise the limit on the self-generation of electricity. The president said South Africa will raise the limit on self-generation of renewable power from 1MW to 100MW, including the ability to sell excess capacity into the grid, declaring energy security as “South Africa’s…

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AstraZeneca hammers out a deal with BrandMed towards the establishment of Health Centers of Excellence

SOUTH AFRICA – AstraZeneca has announced that it will be providing sponsorship to BrandMed towards the establishment of fifteen BrandMed Syntro-P Health Centers of Excellence as part of its commitment to work towards a future where all patients have access to sustainable, holistic health experiences and access to life-changing treatment and prevention. Through the partnership with BrandMed, a leading South African connected healthcare company that integrates medical and lifestyle expertise and science with ground-breaking technologies, patients will soon have access to the additional BrandMed Syntro P Health Centers of Excellence…

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South Africa rolls back on FDA unwholesome-termed Johnson&Johnson COVID vaccines

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has announced it will not release Johnson& Johnson(J&J) vaccines produced using the drug substance batches that were not suitable. South Africa, which is struggling to roll out its inoculation program as it enters a third wave of the pandemic, said it will pull two million of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following contamination concerns at one of the US drug maker’s sites. This follows an announcement made by the US Food and Drug Administration that millions of…

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IFC, Proparco, DEG and DFC to support Covid-19 vaccine and pharma manufacturing in Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), Proparco, the German Development Finance Institution (DEG) and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have announced a partnership to support vaccine manufacturing in Africa, pharmaceutical development so as to accelerate the continent’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the partnership, IFC, Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD Group), DEG and DFC, along with other partners, are exploring potential collaboration with vaccine producers on the continent, including Aspen, among others, to support the continued development of sustainable local vaccine…

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South Africa’s health minister put on leave amid corruption inquiry

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s health minister has been placed on special leave pending the outcome of an investigation into a corruption scandal related to contracts awarded by his ministry to a company allegedly controlled by his former aides. The decision by president Cyril Ramaphosa to sideline Zweli Mkhize came as a third wave of Covid-19 threatens the country and the government’s long-awaited vaccine programme is rolled out at a desperately slow pace. As of yesterday, only 1,433,730 Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in a country of nearly 60 million…

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Pioneer South African disruptive health-tech firm LifeQ obtains new investment from Nedbank

South Africa – Nedbank Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) has invested in a minority equity interest in LifeQ Global, a disruptive health-tech innovator and provider of biometrics and health information derived from wearable devices. Last week, life insurer and financial services provider 1Life, LifeQ and Samsung SA joined forces to launch the LifeQ COVID-19 app. The launch came at a time when some South African provinces were already in the throes of the COVID-19 third wave, with Gauteng experiencing a greater surge than the rest of the country. Nedbank says…

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Health and beauty company Clicks to acquire Pick n Pay’s pharmacy business

SOUTH AFRICA – Health and beauty company Clicks, plans to acquire the retail pharmacy business of Pick n Pay, Clicks Group has said in a statement. Clicks is the largest retail pharmacy network in the country. The acquisition will include 25 in-store pharmacies that will be rebranded to Clicks which will take the national presence of the health and beauty retailer to 632 pharmacies. In terms of the proposed transaction, Clicks will acquire the pharmacy licences and ethical drug stock, while all staff employed in the pharmacies will transfer from…

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