Multi-million dollar antiretroviral (ARV) and malaria drug-manufacturing plant has been commissioned in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone to ease people’s access to the medicines. Commissioning the US$9 million Mylan Pharmaceuticals Company Limited plant on Thursday evening, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said Government has made significant strides in fighting HIV/AIDS in the country.
“Government has started strengthening the supply chain of ARVs to enhance control of HIV/AIDS.
“We have increased the number of people on ARVs from 70 to 86 percent since the beginning of the `test and treat programme’,” Dr Chilufya said.
He said Government values private sector partnerships in promoting universal access to primary health care.
Dr Chilufya said Government will continue investing in medical infrastructure and equipment to increase access to primary health services.
“The launch of the Mylan Pharmaceuticals plant will go a long in enhancing easy access to HIV/AIDS treatment in Zambia and the SADC region,” he said. Mylan Pharmaceuticals president Rajiv Malik pledged the company’s significant investment in the health sector to expand access and affordability of ARVs and anti-malaria medication.
Mr Malik said Mylan Pharmaceuticals has contributed to the decline in HIV/AIDS prevalence in Africa over the years through ARV supplies.
United States Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote has commended Government for its continued efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS.
“Access to ARVs was a challenge in Zambia a few decades ago. But in the next few weeks, over 90,000 people will be accessing the drugs closer to their door-steps.
“I want to pledge my government’s continued support to this cause in the years to come,” Mr Foote said.
He urged Government to continue providing an enabling environment to attract more investment in the health sector.