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Kenya, S’Africa elected co-chairs of African drugs body

THE Minister for Public Health and Sanitation in Kenya, Mrs. Beth Mugo, and the Minister for Science and Technology in South Africa, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, were jointly elected co-Chairs of the Board of the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI), at the inaugural meeting, hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The innovative co-chair governance structure was created in recognition of the critical need to integrate public health research and policy with science and technology in order to develop a holistic approach to sustainably address Africa’s health challenges through the discovery, development and delivery of drug, diagnostics, vaccines and other health products within Africa.

Board members representing North, South, East, West and Central African regions, leading health experts, the African Diaspora and key institutional partners – UNECA (legal hosts for ANDI), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) discussed the strategic plans for ANDI. The European Commission has also provided support for the establishment of ANDI.

Speaking at the opening of the board meeting, Jennifer Kargbo, the Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECA, stressed the importance of the private sector participation in ANDI activities, especially in translating R&D outputs into useful products and services that benefit the people.

She emphasized that “ANDI’s success should be measured in terms of numbers of lives saved, jobs created and firms created.” She was delighted that the board had committed the political leadership and eminent experts needed in developing this pan-African health innovation network.

-Guardian

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