Desmond Munemo, H-Metro Reporter
Universities are set to embark on pharmaceutical and veterinary manufacturing to curb the importation of side effects drugs, a senior Government official has said.
The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Professor Amon Murirwa speaking during the portfolio committee on Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development on Education 5.0 said Chinhoyi University of Technology and University of Zimbabwe would spearhead the projects.
“We are working on the medicines area and one of our projects is pharmaceutical and veterinary.
“We are setting up one at Chinhoyi University and one at the UZ,” revealed Prof Murwira.
Member of Parliament and Education portfolio committee member Miriam Mushayi expressed concern over imported drugs with some
that have repercussions.
“We import medicines that have side effects in the end.
“How proactive and accommodative is the ministry of health in terms of making sure that we produce our own medicines which do not affect us around the issue of side effects?
“We have to import medicines that are expensive, yet we have enough resources to produce our own medicine which will be applicable in making sure we deal with the diseases that affect us and the environment that we are in.
“This is in light of one who claimed to have medicine for HIV but then the ones in Europe would want to take credit and we become consumers of their products,” queried Mushayi.
A flood of cheaper drugs being smuggled from neighbouring countries and sold on the streets by vendors has resulted in public health scare concerns.
The street drugs are not tested and there is no guarantee that they are genuine and have been stored properly.
Furthermore, the drugs are being dispensed by untrained vendors, who have taken up the functions of doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
During a public health supply chain conference and exhibition in Harare last year, Government said such investments will help generate foreign currency from the sale of generic drugs across the region.