Following the state visit of Zambian President Edgar Lungu, store at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni, stomach during which the former visited Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL) on 24th July, 2015, the two governments agreed to work together to strengthen the health sectors of their countries.
A technical team from the Ministry of Health Zambia and Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) was sent last year to the CiplaQCIL plant to evaluate the standards and quality of the facility.
The manufacturing facility and its products were approved by ZAMRA thereby endorsing that they meet the regulatory standards of WHO in general and Zambia in particular.
On 17th May, 2017, the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where they agreed to develop cooperation in a number of health related areas.
Among these, CiplaQCIL is to supply Anti-retrovirals (ARVs), Anti-malarials (ACTs) and Hepatitis medicines manufactured in Uganda to the Ministry of Health Zambia for a period of 20 years with reviews every 5 years.
Under the MOU, CiplaQCIL will undertake to train inspectors from ZAMRA in WHO Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) together with pharmacy students in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The MOU was signed by the Zambia Minister of Health, Hon. Chitalu Chilufya, the Uganda Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng and the CiplaQCIL Executive Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Katongole in Lusaka, Zambia.
The cooperation between Uganda and Zambia through this agreement follows a resolution by African heads of state sitting in Abuja 2005, to implement an Africa Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plan.
The resolution was adopted at the 3rd session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Health in April 2007 where the African Ministers of Health agreed to strengthen Africa’s ability to locally manufacture and supply essential drugs and commodities to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and to also reduce Africa’s dependence on external suppliers while promoting and boosting the African Pharmaceutical industry.
“We are eternally grateful to the Governments of Uganda and Zambia for the support they have shown in growing our local pharmaceutical industry. This agreement with Zambia is a landmark achievement for our local industry and it shows that we can compete on quality and affordability with other larger generic manufacturers from India and China for long-term supply agreements in international markets. The pharmaceutical industry is a difficult industry with high barriers to entry and high costs in the short run but continued access to markets will create economies of scale that will grow the industry in Uganda and the region and lower prices for consumers,” Mr. Emmanuel Katongole commented after signing the deal.