It was very astonishing to realize that some medicine manufacturing machines that were used during the struggle for independence are still in good working condition and are therefore making due contribution in today’s Azel Pharmaceutical plant. The very idea that the EPLF used to have efficient and up to standards medicine manufacturing equipment is what makes one wonder to hear such farsighted vision and the commitment directed towards people’s well-being started during the then unstable times where war threats were high. Thus, no wonder if the EPLF was committed to manufacture medicineslocally during the harsh times of war, the government of Eritrea would be committed to manufacture more supply of medicines in the post-independence Eritrea. The setting up of Azel Pharmaceutical Share Company and the starting of medicines supply in 2003 is a success story in Eritrea’s healthcare service.
Since the very start of Azel products enter the Eritrean market at affordable price, this medicalplant became the very source for national demand of medicines. This booming industrial plant have celebrated its 10th anniversary on 4th July 2013 at Asmara Palace. But, why celebrations for just a 10 year old pharmaceutical plant? Is if for the sake of celebrating its birth day or else for the achievement it registered so far?
Azel has so far made significant contributions in the provision of medicines throughout the country. But what makes its 10th anniversary worthcelebrating, according to Mr. MisghnaTekleab, general manager of AzelPharma, is the achievement it registered to date. In this regard Mr. Misgna said: “Above everything else, the quality attribute is our strongest achievement and is legitimate cause for celebration.”
Over the past 10 years Azel has been working towards achieving efficient production through the utilization of modern production management techniques. With the improvement of manufacturing efficiency, Mr. Misgnasaidthat the first goal of ensuring the sustainability of affordable quality medicines supply has been met with flying colors.
It was also disclosed in the event that the first campaign to launch 7 types products was conducted in December 2004 and that efforts continued to supply the necessary medications based on the demands of the Eritrean market and thus the products reached 56 of the registered products with a supply contribution ranging from 30-35 of the total demand of the medication for the local market.
It is indeed needless to mention that the Government of Eritrea continues its assistance towards promoting the health system of the country. Present in the 10th anniversary of AzelPharma, Ms. Amna Nurhussien, minister of health, clarified the overall healthcare policy of the country and expressed appreciation for the success the medicine manufacturing plant has achieved.
It has been repeatedly reported that healthcare policy of the country favors the availability of quality healthcare that is accessible to all citizens. The opening of Azel as a local medicine manufacturing plant therefore steams for this outlook. But, opening a medicine manufacturing plant alone could not solve healthcare problems of any given nation. That is why the need for qualified healthcare professional becomes more than a necessity. Eritrea has also made remarkable achievement in nurturing healthcare professionals locally.
Stating that Government’s and the Ministry of Health’s major success are mostly related to the provision of affordable and efficient healthcare service, Prof. AbrhamKidane, member of AzelPharma board of director, said “We are doing well ahead of many developing countries.” He also highlighted that healthcare service is a knowledge based industry and that the need for highly qualified people is of utmost priority. He said in this regard “We are proud to say we have highly motivated young professionals who are very-very capable and fast learning.”
As regards nurturing more competent healthcare specialists the minister of Health said that in line with need of human capacity development, it has been already decided to start post graduate training programs, in specialized pharmaceutical technology and other related disciplines required for pharmaceutical manufacturing. She also said “As part of the quality assurance of medicines, the Ministry of health is currently in the process of upgrading, its food and medicine regulatory system.”
The contributions pharmaceutical manufacturing has made is not limited in the supply of medicine alone but it has been playing significant role in creating jobs. In its present state, the AzelPharma has 270 employees. According to the information obtained from the 10th anniversary of the AzelPhama, the factory and its laboratories have also been committed in providing training in fields of chemical engineering, pharmacy and others disciplines in various colleges.
In the event of the 10th anniversary of AzelPharma, Eritrean healthcare professionals, instructor in the college of Health Science and other invited guests took part. As AzelPharma is a joint venture of Eritrea and Jordanian Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company in Jordan, representative of the Jordanian company and members of AzelPharma like Dr. AdanBadwan, the vice chairperson of the board of directors of AzelPharma and general director of the Jordanian pharmaceutical company, Prof. RoafHamed, Associate dean of the College of Health Science in Asmara University, and other distinguished healthcare professionals were also present in its 10th anniversary.All of these professionals shared views that could enhance future development of the medicine manufacturing factory as well as human resource development.
The higher healthcare standards are achieved the higher economic growth of the nation would be. Besides satisfying local demands and ensuring the healthcare needs of nationals are met, increasing productivity, and expanding its marketability in the global market is among the plans of AzelPharma.