Mohammed Abu Zaid
CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has announced an Egyptian initiative to provide 30 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to African countries, in coordination with the African Union.
During his participation in the dialogue session of the African health medical conference and exhibition “African Health ExCon,” El-Sisi said that “the capabilities of Egypt are available to the African brothers.”
El-Sisi was speaking at the launch of the conference, held at the Egypt International Exhibition Center (Al-Manara Center for International Conferences) in the Fifth Settlement in New Cairo.
More than 400 members from the Chamber of Health Care and a number of international and local companies will participate in the conference.
Egypt signed a partnership agreement with China last year to manufacture the Chinese “Sinovac” vaccine in Egypt, and began producing the vaccine at the end of last June through the “Vaccera” Vaccine Company, owned by the Egyptian government, which enables it to produce one million doses a day.
Egypt said at the time that it was keen to localize the vaccine industry, not only to meet the needs of its citizens but also to export to the African continent.
Bahaa Zeidan, head of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement and Medical Supply, said that the president’s directives are in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030, and support the existence of a dialogue platform between African countries to exchange experiences. He added that its objectives are consistent with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 to promote sustainable development for African peoples.
Zeidan said that El-Sisi’s directives to form a strategic reserve for all medical needs — whether for devices, medicines or laboratory supplies — had a great impact in tackling the coronavirus crisis and the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war that affected supply chains worldwide.
“In Africa, we need support to build the health sector on the continent, and the pandemic that we all faced has given us a very big lesson to learn from,” Constantino Chiunga, Zimbabwean vice president and minister of health, said during the conference.
“We need to learn, through our presence in Egypt, how Egypt’s experience was, how it was able to deal with diseases that come with water, and how it managed to tackle these problems,” he said.