BRICS Health & Pharmaceutical Association

BRICS Health and Pharmaceutical Association of Africa has been launched in South Africa to help the African continent improve its health systems and be prepared for future pandemics.

The initiative seeks to tap into research and development and advanced technology from BRICS countries and use it in Africa to address the burden of diseases, according to Hilton Klein, chairperson and CEO of the Numolux Group, which launched the association last week.

Klein said they want to improve the use of traditional medicine and get assistance from China and India who are already advanced in that space. Top on the agenda of the initiative is to establish the MRNA and traditional vaccine manufacturing factory to eradicate diseases and pandemics in Africa and BRICS aligned countries. Members of the association are from different African countries and the private sector from all the BRICS countries, he said.

“We are looking forward at working with BRICS countries to manufacture capability in South Africa in particular, to service the rest of the continent. We will partner with the New Development Bank of BRICS to assist us to make available high quality medicines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices to all BRICS aligned countries at affordable prices, preferably in the local currencies of its member states. We have to be ready as Africa, in manufacturing vaccines, traditional medicine, innovation hubs that look at research and development programs,” said Klein.

He also called for South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to work with their counterparts in the BRICS countries to streamline the regulatory framework to bring medicine, pharmaceutical products and equipment to South Africa quickly.

BRICS Health Ministers meeting, June 2023

Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, member of the Executive Council for Health in Gauteng province, South Africa, welcomed the initiative by Numolux. She said South Africa, the region and African countries should start by collaborating in research and sharing knowledge.

Nkomo-Ralehoko said: “We are committed to strengthening relations with African countries and BRICS partners. We need to bring in BRICS countries because they are key in terms of the work we want to do in the areas of pharmaceuticals. In Gauteng province we are planning to build our own pharmaceutical company and will need collaboration with them including Numolux in terms of advising us what we need to do to speed up the process. We want to work with BRICS in sharing the indigenous knowledge.”

Allan Boesak, a theologian and political activist, said there is a “BRICS wind” which will change the course of history which South Africa and Africa should take advantage of. He said that BRICS countries with its population; contribution to the global gross domestic product is “changing the face of the world.”

Boesak urged South Africa and Africa to be part of the history in the making presented by BRICS in the areas of economy, political leadership and peace building. He said collaboration between Africa and BRICS would help to achieve universal health coverage by getting expertise and technology from them.

The initiative will see the companies in Africa working with BRICS counterparts in research and development, establishing vaccine manufacturing plants, sharing knowledge and experiences.

See VIDEO: Lena Petrova, July 10, 2023.
Source: China Daily, 2023-05-05.