Maputo — The Indian government on Monday delivered a consignment of 65 tonnes of assorted medicines to the Mozambican Ministry of Health, intended to support the national health service.
This is the first consignment of a grant of medical aid promised by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he visited Mozambique in 2016. The total grant will amount to 100 tonnes. The value of the medicines was not announced.
The medicines are in line with a list of needs provided by the Health Ministry.
At the ceremony, the Indian High Commissioner, Rudra Gaurav Shresth, said “We wanted the Ministry of Health to plan medical provisions, and I praise the speed they have shown in providing a detailed and organised list of medicines which allowed us to make the acquisitions in India”.
Medical care, Shresth said, is the most important component of the cooperation between the two countries
India, he continued, has a preponderant role in the Mozambican health sector, through its activity in the pharmaceutical market, as well as in the growing number of Mozambicans who travel to India in search of medical treatment.
Shresth added that there has been increased Indian investment in recent years in health centres and clinics and soon an Indian factory producing pharmaceuticals will begin operations in Mozambique.
In terms of the volume of medicines produced, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world. It is responsible for 20 per cent of all pharmaceutical exports, and for 80 per cent of the generic anti-retroviral drugs used to treat people who are HIV-positive.
Currently the Indian pharmaceutical industry generateS 16.5 billion US dollars in annual export earnings, and there are forecasts that this figure could reach 50 billion dollars a year by 2020.
Health Minister Nazira Abdula received the donation, and said it would strengthen the government's efforts, contributing to a greater availability of medicines, and an improvement in health care.
She added that the government's pharmaceutical policy rests on guaranteeing access by the public to medicines and vaccines in good condition, and ensuring that they are available in the necessary amounts, and at prices accessible to citizens.
The policy also advocates the rational use of medicines, as well as guaranteeing their quality, so that only legally recognised, safe and effective pharmaceuticals circulate in the country.