ADDIS ABABA- Preparations are underway to produce the COVID-19 vaccine in Ethiopia, Ministry of Health disclosed.
Health Minister Lia Tadesse(MD) told The that the outbreak of COVID-19 has had a negative effect on the health sector of the nation as well as further social and economic damage to the country, the continent, and the world at large.
Ethiopia, since the outbreak, has been implementing and enforcing various prevention and control methods to minimize the negative effects of the cholera virus. The country has been also receiving different types of vaccinesfrom donor countries.
Apart from getting vaccines, currently, the government of Ethiopia is working with international organizations, and the African Union (AU) to increase funding for the COVID-19 vaccine, she explained.
According to Lia, there has been a lot of pressure on the health sector since the outbreak of the pandemic, nevertheless, much has been done to improve the country’s health system while reducing the negative impact of the pandemic on health sector.
Hence, efforts have been made to reorganize the health facilities, mobilize and increase resources, increase budgets, improve health systems, strengthen laboratory capacity, advance patient care, and increase oxygen production capacity of the country, she added.
Furthermore,the necessary steps are met to produce pharmaceutical equipment, especially sanitizer, masks, gloves, protective equipment, and so on, which are important to pave the way to producing vaccines in Ethiopia.
Along with efforts to prevent the epidemic, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the African Union, the African Union Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Partners, has started preparation to produce the vaccine.
The AU member states are working together as a continent instead of producing the vaccine individually, adding that Ethiopia is actively participating in the initiative, recognizing the importance of this initiative as a country and a continent, she noted.
At the same time, a lot of work is being done to make the vaccine available locally because Ethiopia is a big and strategic country to Africa.
Therefore, market visibility studies are underway, discussions and experiences sharing with partner countries and organizations have been held, and detailed identification of activities are carried out to launch the production. Upon completion of this detailed study, she indicated that the country would begin production of the vaccine.
BY EPHREM ANDARGACHEW
THE ETHIOPIAN TUESDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2022