Guyana eyes new vaccine manufacturing plant to ensure timely access to medication


In Guyana’s quest to improve healthcare, the government will soon establish a local pharmaceutical manufacturing plant to address the long wait times previously encountered to access lifesaving vaccines on the international market.

Dr Lelsie Ramsammy, who is heading the project, recently told the News Room that with the assistance of the Indian Government, Guyana will strengthen its healthcare services.

India is the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer.

“One of the problems we faced during the COVID period and still do is getting the vaccines for people on a timely basis and so this is an area that we want to address,” Dr Ramsammy, a former Health Minister and current Health Advisor said.

Last Thursday, Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo met with India’s Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya.

In a tweet, Dr Mandaviya said “we discussed various issues of bilateral importance in the health sector including the creation of manufacturing hubs of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics & handholding and training of the medical workforce.”

According to Dr Ramsammy, Guyana’s aim is to become a manufacturer of medications and vaccines. He said that when the AIDS epidemic became a health threat there was no access to life-saving medications.

Developing countries had little to no access to lifesaving medicines and to the technology and although the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aim to improve and ensure the world has equitable access, Guyana never achieved that.

Even now, Guyana is still awaiting the arrival of much-needed bivalent vaccines for COVID-19. “It’s not a new need for Guyana and it is not a new ambition for Guyana we had that for a long time,” Dr. Ramsammy, a former Health Minister and current health advisor said.

Dr Ramsammy also noted that a timeline for the plant to be established is still in the works and explained that Guyana is first building its capacity through the training of healthcare professionals.

President Ali stated his own intention to upgrade the country’s legislative and regulatory framework while investing in the necessary training and development research towards establishing a vaccine production facility.

Additionally, Dr Ali previously said that Guyana will be seeking to develop the framework and infrastructure to not only build a similar facility like BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine factory in Kigali, but to encourage investors in medical research and development.

The President disclosed that Guyana and Barbados will be “aggressively” working together with the innovators, researchers, and developers in advancing this goal.

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