Egypt is aware of the importance of fulfilling its responsibility to protect the right to health and is focusing on localising the production of medicines and other health technologies, including raw materials, to cover local needs and export purposes, while ensuring quality, safety, effectiveness, and affordability, according to Health and Population Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.

Abdel Ghaffar made the remarks in his speech during the session “Preparedness, and Response to Any Disease Pandemics in the Future,” organised by the Africa Center for Disease Control and Control (Africa CDC) on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The Egyptian Health Minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the importance of diversifying sources of vaccines to ensure equitable access for all people and to secure the global health situation.

Abdel Ghaffar explained that the data indicates the magnitude of the African health products market, which amounted to $28bn in 2021 with an expected growth rate of 5.5% annually during the next five years. Diagnostic devices and medical devices currently represent about 7% of the market, with a value of up to $1.9bn.

With vaccines obtaining the smallest share of the African health products market, which is estimated at 5% with a value of $1.3bn, the lessons learned from COVID-19, which highlighted the importance of diversifying sources of vaccines, must be taken into account, the minister said.

He stressed Egypt’s awareness of the importance of local production as an element of ensuring access to medicines and placing public health as a priority.

It also recognises the importance of commercial aspects, opportunities and challenges related to intellectual property, transfer and localization of technology, and enabling countries to fulfil their responsibility towards protecting the true right to health.

Egypt is working to achieve regional integration in the interest of equitable access for all, according to Abdel Ghaffar.

Achieving these goals requires benefiting from partnerships between the public and private sectors, through which multiple pillars can be achieved to enhance the local manufacturing of health products and technologies, the minister explained.

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