President Akufo-Addo has urged the west African Health Organization to seek Cuban support for the construction of biolarvicide factories in West Africa to help eradicate malaria.
He said this when the Director General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr Xavier Crespin paid a courtesy call on him at the flagstaff house on his 3day visit to Ghana aimed at seeking his support in the local production of pharmaceuticals in the West African region.
President Akufo-Addo noted that in many parts of the world where malaria has been completely eradicated, even before the development of effective medication, one of the key strategies adopted was effective vector control, adding that Cuba had developed such a technology.
He urged WAHO boss to place greater emphasis on the processes for the control of malaria, which, he said, “continues to be a debilitating disease” in West Africa and on the continent.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the production of local pharmaceuticals in the West African region is “a matter we have to pay maximum attention to”, explaining that “there is absolutely no reason why we cannot develop the capacity (to produce our own medicine).”
The President told Dr. Crespin that one of the priority industrial projects to be undertaken by his government would be the local production of pharmaceutical products.
President Akufo-Addo assured Dr. Xavier Crespin of Ghana’s continued commitment to the West African Health Organisation.
“We take our membership of ECOWAS and WAHO seriously, as was evidenced in the Ghanaian medical assistance that was provided during the outbreak of Ebola. We even had the decision of my predecessor, who had the courage to go into Guinea and Sierra Leone, at the time when everyone was boycotting them.
Dr. Xavier Crespin explained that the help of Ghana “in reinforcing local capacity to produce our own medicine” is of the utmost importance, as, “from our assessment, we produce only 25% of the medicines we need in our region, which is very weak. Our objective is to increase it to 50%.”
For this reason, the Director General of WAHO has urged President Akufo-Addo to “take the lead advocacy in this area. We need political support from you to help us in terms of taxation, regulation and harmonization at ECOWAS level.”
Dr. Crespin congratulated President Akufo-Addo on his election as President of Ghana, and wished him the best of success throughout his tenure of office.