New initiative helps deliver medicines to Africa

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UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Programme Dr Paul De Lay speaking at the launch of the East African Community (EAC) Medicines Registration Harmonization Project in Arusha, Tanzania, on 30 March 2011.

A new initiative has been launched to ensure that Africa has access to essential, high quality, safe and affordable medicines.

The East African Community (EAC) Medicines Registration Harmonization Project in Arusha, Tanzania, launched on 30 March, brings together a number of organizations.

Donn Bobb reports.

The East African Community (EAC) Medicines Registration Harmonization Project in Arusha, Tanzania is the starting point in the implementation of a broader programme across the continent.

It is aimed at strengthening the capacity of health authorities in Africa to build systems that effectively regulate medicines, including anti-retroviral drugs.

The partners hope that by doing so, fewer lives would be lost due to drugs which are unsafe and of poor quality or which are largely unavailable or delivered inefficiently.

According to UNAIDS, Africa depends heavily on imported medicines with 80 per cent of anti-retroviral drugs that keep more than 5 million people alive coming from abroad.

Participants in the project include the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DfID), and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

Duration: 54″

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