Government of India has donated a fourth tranche of drugs to Zimbabwe worth US$300 000 which was handed over to NatPharm in the capital yesterday by Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui.
“Honourable Minister, the consignment we have received has 134 items of medicines and medical products with a total weight of 5.3 tonnes and a total value of USD300 000,” said the Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
The latest donation was made up of medicines that Zimbabwe indicated it wants from India and it was a tailor-made order.
“These medicines were procured only on order basis and not lifted from the existing stocks and therefore, have a very long shelf life,” said Ambassador Masakui.
Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambassador Masakui indicated that India was developing a number of vaccines which were still undergoing trials and they were prepared to share with other countries in Asia and Africa.
“As and when our vaccines are successful, we have taken a considered view, after keeping sufficient doses for our domestic requirements, on sharing our vaccine with our friendly countries in the neighbourhood and developing countries especially in Asia and Africa on a priority basis,” said the Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
In his acceptance speech after receiving the donations, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro thanked Ambassador Masakui for the tailor-made donation which was specific to Zimbabwe’s medical needs.
“I want to say, Your Excellency, this is the fourth tranche you have given us, I have received some goods in the past and you said the fifth one is cold chain.
“We want to thank you in advance and we really appreciate that this fourth one, you emphasise that it was our order, you did not give us, we ordered these things (medicines) according to what we needed and this is what you provided and the shelf life is good because these were manufactured or purposely made for our needs,” said the Deputy Minister.
NatPharm Board Chairperson, Dr Billy Rigava weighed in and expressed his gratitude for the donation from India which was underpinned by good relations between the two countries.
“Today is the day that witnesses friends that we have and the friends that have stood by us in difficult times and in times of COVID-19 and the donation between the Indian government and the Zimbabwean Government and we cannot achieve this without good relations,” said Dr Rigava.