GIZA, EGYPT, 28th January, 2016 (WAM) — The UAE Social and Infrastructure Development Office in Egypt, has inaugurated the newly refurbished and re-equipped vaccination, insulin and antidote lines at Vacsera, Egypt’s holding company for biological products and vaccines.
Attending the launch were Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, and Head of the UAE Social Development and Infrastructure Office, Dr. Ahmed Emad, Egyptian Minister of Health and Population, Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, and Khalifa Saif Al Tunaiji, Deputy Head of Mission of the UAE Embassy in Cairo.
The programme includes five projects comprising the refurbishment of the insulin production, packaging and biotechnology building, the Polio vaccination and packing line for children, the Serum/Anti-venom bottling and production line, the diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccination line, and a project to increase quality control through modern equipment.
Conveying the greetings of the UAE leadership to Egypt’s government and its people, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said, “I am delighted to celebrate today the completion and delivery of this cutting-edge and critical project that will significantly enhance the healthcare sector in Egypt. These pioneering projects will meet Egypt’s demand for serums, vaccines, antidotes and crucial medication, transforming healthcare services for patients in need.”
He added, “I commend the close cooperation between the UAE and Egyptian teams that have resulted in the timely delivery and completion of these landmark projects in keeping with best-in-class international standards.”
Al Jaber went on to say, “The UAE supports all such humanitarian initiatives worldwide. The country prioritises the healthcare sector due to its essential role in caring for human capital – the greatest asset of any nation. We opted to implement these projects as part of our continued endeavors in Egypt to ensure sustainable development in this country.”
The Egyptian Minister of Health and Population said, “I applaud the UAE’s leadership and its people for their continued support for Egyptian citizens. This ongoing synergy demonstrates the strong relations between both countries as envisioned by the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Through its healthcare programme, the UAE has built and delivered 78 schools in 23 governorates and, today, a world class vaccination line; offering ordinary Egyptians much needed healthcare.”
He added, “These projects support Egypt’s healthcare programs that seek to prevent and manage diseases and conditions such as polio, hepatitis C, tetanus, diphtheria, whopping cough, cholera, scorpion stings, and snakebites. They also provide the necessary vaccines for the mandatory vaccination programme to protect newborn babies and school children from contagious diseases.”
Commenting on the role of the projects implemented by the UAE in many vital sectors, especially the healthcare, Dr. Sahar Nasr said, “These projects have upgraded many production lines at Vacsera and provided control plants to increase the capacity for vaccine and serum production and to preserve their safety and validity. They also help Egypt achieve self-sufficiency in producing insulin, serums and vaccines to meet the needs of its people. The projects will go a long way in accelerating the healthcare services offered to Egyptians who are the key priority of Egypt’s development efforts.”
She added, “These projects will offer important positive social impact through improving the health of Egyptians and providing essential vaccines to millions of children annually. They will also have a positive economic impact as they offer high-quality local products that minimise the need for importing these life-saving drugs while opening up new export markets.”
As part of the launch, the prominent visitors toured Vacsera’s headquarters to learn more about the development works implemented in five zones, where they were briefed on the state-of-the-art equipment including the cell-sorting devices, storage tanks, pure steam line, and the new water treatment plant.
Vacsera’s production-line development projects for insulin, serums and vaccines are an important step towards boosting the healthcare services offered to Egyptians. They help meet 100% of the Egyptian Ministry of Health’s needs for insulin and preventive serums and vaccines, including DPT vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus and whopping cough), vaccines for polio, and cholera, and 18 serums for scorpion, snake and some bacterial poisons.
The projects will increase production capacity for basic locally-produced vaccines from 15% to 80%. These vaccines are used by the Ministry of Health in the expanded vaccination programme. The projects will also raise the annual production serums, vaccines and insulin to 10 million units, of which three million units meet the Ministry’s demands while the rest is exported.
In addition, the development projects will increase insulin production to three million bottles annually, up from the earlier count of 590,000 bottles. The increase will help meet the needs of diabetic patients, given the fact that Egypt imports 74% of its requirements. Local companies provide 26%, of which 9% is produced by Vacsera.
Furthermore, 80 million oral polio vaccines will be produced annually. This is in addition to providing five million doses of double meningitis vaccines after their production stopped for six years. The meningitis vaccine is one of Egypt’s most essential medicines as it is administered to 18 million school children and around five million newborn babies for free through the initiatives of the Ministry of Health and Population.