We should defy demands that don’t help our cause - Musenero 

Dr Musenero (L) and a team of  WHO officials  tour around the DEI Biopharma facility in Matugga, Wakiso District on Monday.  PHOTO | GODFREY LUGAAJU  

What you need to know:

  • Prof Joseph Okeibunor, who led the WHO team, said the facility will not only provide employment, but will also enhance research and manufacture of traditional medicine therapies.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Monica Musenero, has said Africa and particularly Uganda, can no longer afford to conform to demands that do not help its growth agenda. 

Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of the DEI Biopharma facility in Matugga, Wakiso District, Dr Musenero said Africa must be resilient, especially in enhancing research and manufacture of traditional medicines to serve the continent and humanity. 

“We need to be defiant against situations that the world has in the past put us in. We need to make Africa stand on her feet,” she said, noting that there was need to industrialise to fight poverty and underdevelopment.

On Monday a team of experts from World Health Organisation (WHO), including members of WHO’s Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicine, visited the DEI Biopharma manufacturing facility in Matugga, Wakiso District as part of a mission to support development and manufacture of traditional medicine therapies to fight viral infections, among which include Covid-19. 

Prof Joseph Okeibunor, who led the WHO team, said the facility will not only provide employment, but will also enhance research and manufacture of traditional medicine therapies.

“We are proud of you. I am overjoyed [because] this is employment for Africa. I want to congratulate you and thank you for the opportunity to have me come and see this massive investment,” he said, adding that WHO will support the initiative within the mandate of the organisation and its responsibility to member states.

The tour is part of a mission to Uganda that comprises of Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicine members from WHO headquarters and regional office, Africa CDC and WHO country office, who have been in the country since January 30 to provide technical support to the country in respect of the ongoing efforts to develop traditional-based therapies for the treatment of Covid-19.

The team is expected to meet President Museveni at the end of the visit, which has taken them to the country’s physical and knowledge-based facilities including government installations, the private sector and institutions such as Makerere University.

Mr Matthias Magoola, the DEI Group managing director, said DEI Biopharma has resolved all intellectual property issues and supply chain constraints to distribute all new medicines against Covid-19, antiviral and resistant tuberculosis infections.
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