One of China’s leading pharmaceutical companies, China Sinopharm International Corporation, has partnered with the Ministry of Health to construct vaccines and Medicines Company in Zambia.
The construction works are expected to start as soon as the technical discussions are concluded and Memorandum of Understanding signed.
Some of the vaccines to be produced include the yellow fever vaccine, BOPV, HepB which is a birth dose, IPV, Sabin Strain, Rota Measles and HPV vaccine.
A Zambian delegation led by Zambia National Public Health Institute Director Dr Victor Mukonka are on a 10 day bilateral technical discussions on areas of collaboration and cooperation with the China CDC.
The delegation is also learning from the Chinese experience in dealing with epidemic preparedness, response and strengthening the surveillance systems.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government will construct a dedicated National Public Health Laboratory that will serve both as a national and Southern African regional reference laboratory which will enhance the detection of high risk pathogens using modern techniques.
Chinese Minister of National Health and Family Planning Commission Dr Li Bin said establishing the National Public Health Laboratory will serve as reference facility for the Africa CDC Southern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre.
This came to light when Dr. Bin held bilateral health cooperation meetings with her Zambian counterpart Dr Chitalu Chilufya.
Dr Li said a strong public health workforce is critical to the Institute’s ability to achieve its mission and meet the public health needs of the Zambian population.
She added that China also will provide experts to work with Zambian counterparts over a period of time to transfer skills and knowledge to technical staff at the National Public Health Institute.
And in response Health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya said he is grateful with the Chinese Government’s gesture to help Zambia strengthen her health systems stating that the gesture will cement and take bilateral relations to another level beyond business but brotherhood.
Dr Chilufya said the support to the health sector will contribute to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage.
Dr Chilufya is happy that China is ready to provide technical and material support in setting up a robust Information System that will enhance effective surveillance and outbreak response system through the construction of the laboratory.
This is contained in a statement issued by Head Communications and External Relations Stanslous Ngosa.