The United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in partnership with German Cooperation through its implementation organization PTB (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt) as well as AHK Delegation of German Industry and Commerce for Eastern Africa have introduced a training program aimed at enhancing pharmaceutical manufacturing in Kenya.
The objective of this educational program is to train Pharma operators by combining technical skills with theoretical knowledge about materials, processes, machine technology and other Pharmaceutical insights. While this concept has been introduced in other industries in Kenya, it is the first of its kind in the Pharmaceutical industry.
The trainees will learn the theory and the practice of manufacturing medicines like granules, syrups, creams, ointments, tablets, and capsules. The program will be implemented through the Centre of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Innovations & Analysis (CEPIA) in the School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at USIU-Africa where trainees have an opportunity to train and hone their skills in well-equipped laboratory facilities.
Speaking at a function presided over by Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman and German Deputy Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Thomas Wimmer, USIU-Africa Interim Vice Chancellor Prof. Freida Brown said the launch of the program provides a platform for training, Research and Development for the local pharmaceutical industry.
“At USIU-Africa, we strive to introduce market-driven solutions and collaborative learning opportunities in contemporary science, technology and management sciences to meet growing local and international market needs. The launch of this program is yet another proof point of our commitment to partner with industry players such as Dawa Life Sciences, Biodeal Laboratories Ltd., Elys Chemical Industries Ltd. and Regal Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to promote industry needs by enhancing quality in local clinical medicines development from research and development to manufacturing and commercialization,” Prof. Brown said.
The Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Rashid Aman lauded this one of a kind collaboration between industry and academia which is part of an elaborate strategy to contribute to the delivery of equitable, affordable and quality healthcare services to meet national goals and to address the current challenges facing the industry.
“According to the Kenya Pharmaceutical Industry 2020 Diagnostic Report, Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry is the largest in the Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa region. However, insufficient drugs are manufactured in Kenya to meet domestic needs and as a result, approximately 70 percent of locally used drugs are imported. In light of this, there is a need to boost local pharmaceutical production, enhance capacity building and in turn improve public health outcomes,” he said.
Deputy German Ambassador Thomas Wimmer, stated: “We are excited to collaborate with USIU-Africa in establishing CEPIA and officially kick-off the Dual Vocational Training of Pharmaceutical Production Specialists. This program fits perfectly in our wider development cooperation portfolio with Kenya, the East African Region and the African Union. This Centre will provide many opportunities for training and developing capacity in pharmaceutical innovations in collaboration with German partners.”
While appreciating the involvement of all partners especially the German Corporation, Pharmaceutical Industries, and individual faculty specifically Dr. Lincoln Munyendo, Director CEPIA, the Dean, Prof. Francis Ndemo, School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences said: “the idea is to enable the healthcare industry to further raise its quality standards, and to enhance patient care through improved production and drug development.”