President Ruto advocates for vaccine manufacturing in Africa

President William Ruto at the Centre for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. [PCS]

President William Ruto is rooting for the local manufacturing of vaccines in Africa.

He said coronavirus pandemic exposed the acute state of the continent’s pharmaceutical production.

President Ruto said during this trying time, Africa was denied timely access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“We suffered (greatly) from this vaccine nationalism,” he stated.

He was speaking on Monday at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

He also witnessed the signing of three key MoUs.

One between CDC and Kenya Medical Research Institute that will deepen partnership on the cutting-edge research to answer the most important public health questions of our time and launch of the Applied Science Hub

The second pact focussed on the collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Health and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in developing a Sustainability Roadmap for Kenya’s HIV Programme which is slated for completion in December.

Also signed was the joint proclamation between CDC and Kenya that ushers in the operationalisation of the Kenya National Public Health Institute to strengthen health security globally.
The President maintained that solid research will boost Africa’s capacity to locally produce vaccines. 

He lauded the United States of America for being Kenya’s true ally in healthcare.

He said Kenya will broaden its partnership with the U.S. beyond health infrastructure, research and the tackling of infectious diseases. 

“We want to work closely, transform the U.S.-Kenya health cooperation, for the wellbeing of everyone.”

The President, who is America for a three-day State Visit, earlier spoke at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum and toured The Martin Luther King, Jr. Centre for Nonviolent Social Change.

He paid homage to Martin Luther King Jr. and Jimmy Carter, stating the two left behind a lasting legacy.

“We are reminded of the impact that individuals can have in shaping history and advancing democracy and justice.”

Later on, the President met the Kenyan Diaspora where he insisted that the Government will keep engaging with Kenyans abroad.

He pointed out that the Government has intensified diaspora registration and mapping for skills and expertise.

“We are developing the Global Labour Market Strategy that targets safe, secure and orderly placement of Kenyans in employment opportunities abroad,” he said.

He argued that the Government is fast-tracking Bilateral Labour Agreements to expose Kenyans to a diverse and broad range of opportunities.