West Africa-based medical laboratory and research scientists have reportedly planned to boost the local capacity for producing vaccines and other medical products in the sub-region.
This update was revealed in a statement by Ms. Efam Dovi, Public Relations and Outreach Lead at CelebrateLAB Conference in Lagos.
Ms. Dovi cited that the COVID-19 outbreak saw West Africa, and indeed the entire continent, face difficulties in accessing diagnostic devices, masks, testing kits, and other medical supplies in addition to vaccines.
While health inequity is not an uncommon sight in Africa, the pandemic restarted the conversation on assuring the self-sufficiency of the continent in healthcare solutions and products through local production to increase access to healthcare.
This effort will need a broader collaboration across the region to assure that the required resources and expertise are available to create the ideal environment for product manufacturing, she added.
Dovi believes that one of the most important parts of the initiative is to develop professional expertise in health diagnostics and clinical research to ensure that the medical products made in Africa are suitable for locals.
From April 21 to April 22, the West African medical laboratory and research scientists will converge at the CelebrateLAB West Africa Conference in Ghana.
For the unversed, CelebrateLAB Conference is a yearly meeting of research and medical laboratory professionals, policy makers, regulators, academia, and medical product suppliers and manufacturers.
Ms. Dovi also stated that the former President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, would conduct the keynote address with a focus on reinforcing the health systems of West Africa through learnings from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as previous outbreaks.
The conference would offer solutions to improve the lab capacity in areas of clinical research, human resources, vaccines, and other medical products manufacturing in the sub-region.