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Nigeria can produce world-class vaccines, expert declares

By Eniola Daniel
04 September 2021   |   3:05 am
Head of Sales, Marketing and Vaccines, Zolon Healthcare Limited, a branch of Emzor Pharmaceutical Company, Chukwu Ekwe, has declared that Nigeria could produce vaccines

Production Manager, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Mr Olotu Osamudiamen, (left); National Chairman, ACPN, Dr Samuel Adekola, (middle) and Head of Sales, Marketing & Strategy (Pharma & Vaccines), Zolon Healthcare Ltd, Mr Chukwu Ekwe, (right) during a visit to the Emzor Ultra Modern WHO-Compliant Pharmaceutical Factory at Sagamu, Ogun state by the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, (ACPN) on Thursday, September 2, 2021.

Head of Sales, Marketing and Vaccines, Zolon Healthcare Limited, a branch of Emzor Pharmaceutical Company, Chukwu Ekwe, has declared that Nigeria could produce vaccines that would meet global standards with the right environment and government support.

Ekwe stated this yesterday during the working visit of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria to Emzor Ultra Modern WHO-compliant pharmaceutical factory in Sagamu, Ogun State.

Ekwe said: “Emzor vaccine is a vision. Currently, we are importing vaccines from outside the shores of Nigeria. So, the long-term vision is that we will start manufacturing vaccines on this site. We are currently working on this to be sited on a 60-hectare site and we intend to ensure the vaccine is manufactured here. So, with the support of the government and enabling environment, we will be able to manufacture vaccines in Nigeria. We have started working with partners from other countries in technology transfer to make this happen.”

He added: “We are following the trend of things; we are aware of the environment and for the fact that we are playing in the vaccine field, it’s a sure sign that we are prepared for any future occurrence like COVID-19 pandemic.”

Speaking on the role of pharmacists in the healthcare system in Nigeria, Chairman of ACPN, Dr. Samuel Adekola, said: “Today, pharmacy is an evolving career, but right now we are struggling when compared to our colleagues in other climes because their society has significantly developed and evolved. So, we are hoping that that will also happen in Nigeria.

“We want the Nigerian government to appreciate the roles of community pharmacy in primary healthcare, which is the bedrock of the health sector.

“It’s not as if the government does not know that over 60 per cent of consumers of healthcare prefer to access their health at the community pharmacy level rather than going to the hospital. So, the government must appreciate this and place a premium on it.”

Welcoming the Association, the Group Managing Director of the Pharmaceutical company, Dr. Stella Okoli said, “Malaria is a leading cause of death on the African continent, so, to tackle its menace, Emzor entered into an agreement with India’s Mangalam Drugs & Organic Limited to locally manufacture and distribute Active Pharmaceutical ingredients (API’s) for the treatment and prevention of malaria. This agreement affirms Emzor’s long-standing position to strengthen the Pharma sector in Africa.”

Secretary General and Project Coordinator, Young Pharmacist Group (YPG), Nassarawa State Pharma Peter Ochoche, said he was participating in the training under the sponsorship of Emzor. “I am very grateful to Emzor, the company made it possible for me to participate in this training. This is not the first time the company is doing this kind gesture, the company has always been given us platforms to express and build ourselves.”

Also Pharma Boniface Cyprian Oke, from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State said Emzor gesture is a step in the right direction. “It is a fact that this training is a step in the right direction. Emzor is building a capacity that is unprecedented in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical industry. And I wish the company would continue is this direction.”