Health Ministers to discuss pharmaceutical industries in Africa

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The ministers of health of the African Union (AU) member countries will meet 17 May in Geneva, Switzerland, at a special session alongside the World Health Assembly, to look into Phase II of the plan for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in Africa.

The decision to hold the meeting outside the continent was decided by the third ordinary session of the conference of African health ministers, held in April 2007 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Among the other issues on the agenda are the submission for approval of the implementation plan of the African health strategy and the African traditional medicine decade.

The meeting will be open to the ministers from non-members of the AU accredited to organisation, regional economic communities (RECs), United Nations system and other international institutions, national and regional NGOs, civil society organisations, professional health organisations and the private sector.

During its third session in Johannesburg, the conference of African ministers had reviewed a report on the progress of the implementation of the traditional medicine decade and recommended that a mid-term evaluation be carried out.

Concerning the plan to manufacture pharmaceutical products in Africa, approved in July 2007 by the Accra summit, a technical committee of 12 members coming from the five regions of the continent was set up to look into the detailed implications of local production in Africa and to make concrete recommendations to health ministers within the framework of Phase II.

Since then, the technical committee had met twice 24-26 October 2007 in Addis Ababa and in Pretoria, South Africa, 16-19 February) to finalise its proceedings, whose main result was the design of a project of Phase II of the plan, which is expected to help start the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in Africa.

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