Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has lauded the establishment of a dedicated human vaccine manufacturing factory in Ghana, given the rising cases of infectious diseases in the West Africa sub-region.
Dr. Bawumia commended the initiative and pledged government’s full support for the project. He said: “The project is relevant not only for Ghana, but Africa as a whole”.
Reported cases of the Swine Flu (H1N1) in the Ashanti Region, and Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CSM) in some parts of the country’s northern regions, have made the need for readily-available vaccines more pressing now than ever.
In the West Africa sub-region, the Ebola epidemic has shown how easily infectious diseases can cross the porous borders in the region.
Africa is mostly dependent on external sources for its vaccine supply, with about 99 percent imported as finished products. Local production along with related technologies is almost non-existent; therefore, the initiative by Merck KGaA and Ridge Management Solutions to set up the factory is expected to serve as a catalyst for further growth within the sector.
The project’s key aspects are the basic design and facility construction, as well as equipment supply installation, technology transfer, validation support, training and qualification of staff.
Ghanaian pharmacists, scientists and doctors are expected to benefit from the technical know-how when the project takes-off.
Set up in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1668 by Friedrich Jacob Merck, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company.
Over the course of 350 years, the company has become a global pharmaceutical giant with over 50,000 employees spanning 66 countries – who are united by their passion for new ideas, the possibilities of technology, and the potential to make a difference in the world.
The company is known internationally as Merck. However, in the US and Canada it operates as EMD Serono in Healthcare; EMD Millipore in Life Science: and EMD Performance Materials.
Merck’s portfolio includes medicines to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, growth-disorders, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and thyroid disorders.
Ridge Management Solutions, on the other hand, is a project management development company with a diverse team of professionals primarily involved in capital raising, business development and construction.
RMS is headed by Mr. Andrew Clocanas, a serial entrepreneur whose business projects and endeavours have consistently entailed significant barriers to entry.
He was one of the first to establish a diamond polishing facility in Namibia, in line with government’s initiative to begin beneficiation of its local resources.
Additionally, he has developed the largest multipurpose real estate project in Ghana (The Saglemi Project), which is currently under construction and aimed at creating a new conurbation that will include residential, commercial, industrial and recreational facilities for its inhabitants. This housing project will have over 11,000 homes upon completion.