President Yoweri Museveni has said that the government is committed to work towards the development of vaccines against various diseases including Covid-19.
“Everything is ready except the 18 reagents that are required in the manufacturing of the Corona vaccine. We have got some of the reagents. The suppliers have delayed us for three months,” Museveni said.
The president was speaking during a meeting with a delegation from Serum Africa Medical Research Institute (SAMRI) Limited led by the board chairman Prof. Francis Omaswa and the CEO of SAMRI Dr. Anand Iyer.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero.
During the meeting, government signed an MOU in vaccine research and development with SAMRI. The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Monica Musenero signed on behalf of the Uganda government while Prof. Francis Omaswa signed for SAMRI.
Dr. Musenero said she was optimistic that the Serum institute would deliver on their commitment.
Speaking on behalf of the Serum Africa Medical Research Institute Limited, Prof. Francis Omaswa said that they were fully committed to see that they fulfill the promise that the president made to the population in the fight against pandemics through vaccine development.
“We aim at manufacturing life-saving immuno- biologicals, which are in short supply in Uganda and currently imported at high prices. We will produce, several life-saving biologicals at prices affordable to the common man and in sufficient quantities so that the country is self-sufficient for Tetanus Anti- toxin and Anti-snake Venom serum, followed by DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) group of Vaccines and then later on MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) group of vaccines. We will increase availability, affordability and reachability of the needed vaccines to everyone everywhere in our society,” he said.
The CEO of SAMRI Dr. Anand Iyer revealed that thy have got the capacity to produce malaria and veterinary vaccines in addition to those against Covid-19. He said that they would establish a cold chain storage facility to ensure that the drugs are in good condition, and added, that the facility would serve a wide range of medical needs.