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Tertiary institutions and industry to manufacture medical equipment, VP Chiwenga

Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr. Constantino Chiwenga in a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro, during the World Health Organisation (WHO)Seventy-First Regional Committee for Africa which is being held virtually called for the local manufacturing of medical equipment in Africa so that the continent would be able to offer high-quality health services citing that there were gaps which were realized as the world is battling to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The second major challenge was on the service provision side, we faced the unavailability of ventilators and inadequacy of oxygen supply.

“We need stronger partnerships on local solutions to the development of life-saving affordable and accessible equipment for our health systems,” said Dr. Mangwiro.

The Deputy Minister of Health proposed collaboration between tertiary institutions and industry towards manufacturing of medical equipment in a similar fashion which was witnessed when local universities started to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizers, among other medical consumables.

“The tertiary institutions and industry need to foster partnerships that see the production of medical equipment in Africa as we had to do with PPE. Biomedical sciences engineering technology needs to be supported locally for our systems to be better providers of health care,” said the Deputy Minister of Health.

 The remarks by VP Chiwenga come on the heels of the official opening of Verify Engineering Oxygen plant in Mutare by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week on Thursday. The Verify Engineering plant has the capacity to produce the country’s medical oxygen requirements.

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