Egypt s Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din speaking during the inauguration session of the first Africa Health EXCon on Sunday, 6 June 2022
Egypt is hosting the first Africa Health EXCon, the first African health conference in New Cairo, with the participation of around 2,000 delegates representing government health entities from Africa and the Middle East as well as over 350 drugs companies operating in more than 102 countries.
The event aims at showcasing the achievements of the health sector in Egypt, especially its success dealing with several issues, including the elimination of hepatitis C, which until recently was one the country's biggest public health threats, Tag El-Din said in a TV comment on Monday.
Egypt also has several drugs companies, including the Egyptian medical city GYPTO Pharma, that are producing biotechnology drugs that can meet the needs of the country and all Africa, he added.
Egypt is one of the six African countries that were chosen to produce coronavirus vaccines.
Africa has production capabilities that can cover the entire continent, the presidential adviser said, noting that doing so requires "consensus, integration, trust between African nations one another."
The continent has experienced a shortage of drugs and medical equipment on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, he added.
The latest global circumstances demonstrated the need to boost pharmaceutical production across the continent.
Tag El-Din also called for adopting the Egyptian experience with unified procurement at the continent level, echoing comments made by president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the inauguration of Africa Health EXCon, where he said such a step could reduce the cost of drugs coming from abroad.
The Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement (UPA), established in 2019, is a government body responsible for purchasing all the state's needs, including drugs and medical equipment, from local and international markets.
The presidential adviser pointed to the advantages of buying in bulk, saying that buying 1,000 pieces of medical equipment would cost less per unit than the cost of only buying 100 pieces.
During the inauguration of Africa Health EXCon, El-Sisi announced Egypt will share 30 million doses of coronavirus vaccines with African countries.
Tag El-Din said El-Sisi's initiative is part of the support Egypt offers to Africa in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the continent is still suffering.
At the time when many countries have met the 70 percent vaccination target, only around 17 percent of Africa's population have received the vaccine, he explained.
The current situation is not due to a refusal to be innoculated, or even the lack of money, but due to the unavailability of the vaccines, he further noted.
During the inauguration of Africa Health EXCon, the Egyptian president expressed Egypt’s readiness to cooperate with African nations in different domains
“We are not a state with huge resources, but we can cooperate with Africa and all world as well,” he added.
The cooperation can extend to training programmes, education, treatment, transfer or exchange of expertise and drug manufacturing, El-Sisi pointed out.
Africa Health EXCon is set to conclude on Tuesday.