Thursday, 22 March 2018

C'River begins artemisin cultivation, takes delivery of more Pharmaceutical equipment


Government News Sources|22 March 2018 

In a move aimed at ensuring local inputs in the production of drugs and vaccines at the Calabar Pharmaceutical Company (Calapharm), Cross River state government has commenced the cultivation of artemisin plant in the state. 

The pharmaceutical company, which is being constructed by the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration, is expected to become operational later in the year.

Disclosing this in Calabar, while receiving another batch of equipment in company of the Commissioner for Health, Doctor Inyang Asibong, Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Farhan Ahmad Khan, said:

"To complement the company's vision and mission, artemisin plant is being cultivated here and from there, Arthemeter will be developed."

He explained that the plant which hitherto could only be found in Brazil and China, is presently being cultivated in a large expanse of land in the state and will aid in the production of ORS to check diarrhoea and malaria.

Among the equipment received at the company premises, weekend, were, tablet compression, coating machines, granulator machines, fluid bed dryers, ocylators and milling machines.

Speaking shortly after inspecting the new equipment, Asibong, said the pharmaceutical company "is not going to be strictly for drugs, we are going to have cosmetics being produced here too."

According to her, "with about 80 percent completion of Calapharm, we will kick-start with Ayadecare program any moment from now. Equipment is ready as we have other equipment in the warehouse and these ones just came in and will be moved to the warehouse. The Quality Control equipment are awaited, so definitely when fully installed, we will start the production of drugs that are in line with ailments that are endemic with us in our populace."

The Commissioner who affirmed that the state and company already enjoy the supports of NAFDAC and Federal ministry of Health with an awaiting market to sell the drugs, also explained that typhoid, hepatitis and meningitis vaccines will rank among the top drugs to be produced.

This according to her, "will check emergencies where we hitherto wait for weeks for such vaccines to be imported into our country."

While assuring that the drugs will be cheap, accessible and free for most vulnerable groups like women, children and the handicapped, Asibong pointed out that, "we are partnering the University of Calabar for research as well as planting artemisin plant which is an active ingredient for anti malaria and this will enable us have a healthier Cross River State."

Khan disclosed that with the arrival of the machines and the civil works almost completed, 200 jobs for production and finance sections will be announced soon while the marketing section will be handled later.

Giving vent to the Ayadecare health program in the state, Khan said: "The amount will be utilized by Cross Riverians because the money is generated by Cross Riverians, diagnosis done by Cross Riverians and the pharmacy also handled by Cross Riverians."


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