WAKISO – After succeeding in getting the green monkey cells that are key for virus multiplication in vaccine production, scientists in Uganda are working on a vaccine at the Uganda Virus Institute and Research Centre.
President Museveni in company with Kenya’s Deputy President Williams Ruto has laid a foundation stone for the multibillion Biological Drugs and mRNA Vaccine Manufacturing Facility at Matuga-Wakiso District. The ceremony was held under the theme, “Making Africa self-sustaining in Health Care, a giant leap’.
“I have been telling you, about what Magoola and Musenero are calling the pathogenic economy. The economy of diseases, germs protozoa, etc all those health problems to us are also economic opportunities being taken advantage of by others. Africans are totally absent. That is why we have a shortage of vaccines in the whole of Africa,” he said.
It is the first time that the green monkey cells are being used in a laboratory in Africa to multiply the virus for the vaccines.
The President welcomed Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto whom he described as ‘a very committed East African’ for working with the Equity Bank to secure funding for the project.
“Pharmaceutical companies are in the right place here. My role is that I come from the traditional way to introduce you to the modern way and get synthesis. One of our scientists Prof. Ogwang producing something for Corona, it is not his, it’s for the community. There are so many things here. There is a lot of medicine in plants; we are just scratching the surface. This facility is at the right place at the right time,” Museveni said.
Ruto said the investment is significant in three fundamental ways: Magoola, the brain behind this great multi-billion investment, is an East African and a Ugandan.
“Ordinarily, investments of this magnitude have white faces. Ordinarily, it is people from Europe and America who engage in these investments. Congratulations to Magoola. We are proud of you as an East African that the language you speak of billions of dollars in domesticating it in our continent. It is new but we have champions like you who are daring to walk the journey to invest in the space and magnitude that we have witnessed,” he said.
Africa was a continent of conflict, war, and disease by a description of others but we are describing it as a new continent of opportunity, a continent with the highest return on investment, the youngest population, and 65% of arable land to feed its people. It is very reassuring that citizens of this continent especially East Africans like Magoola are turning challenges into opportunities. Africa will be a place producing medicine and drugs that will deal with health challenges and supply the rest of the globe. It is a gratifying moment that Africa can no longer be a source of problems but the source of solutions not only for Africa issues but globally, he added.