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Zambia Ratifies Africa Medicines Agency Agreement to Strengthen Regulation and Combat Neglected Diseases 

Zambia has officially ratified the international agreement on the Africa Medicines Agency (AMA) during the 37th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

This significant step, announced by Hon. Masebo during a Panel Discussion on AMA and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), underscores Zambia’s commitment to enhancing regulatory capacity for medicines and medical products across the continent.

In her address, Hon. Masebo highlighted the approval of Zambia’s accession to the treaty on the establishment of the African Medicines Agency by the Zambian Cabinet. The move aims to improve access to quality, safe, and efficacious medical products throughout Africa. 

Emphasizing the importance of continental collaboration, Hon. Masebo expressed optimism that the harmonization of regulatory requirements among AU member states will facilitate adherence to international standards and bolster research, development, and local pharmaceutical production.

Furthermore, Hon. Masebo commended Rwanda for hosting the AMA and reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). 

She outlined Zambia’s ongoing efforts to address NTDs, particularly focusing on preventive chemotherapy, veterinary public health, and improved water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure. 

The Minister urged member states to adopt the Kigali declaration on NTDs, stressing the need for collective action to control, eliminate, and eradicate these diseases.

During the event, attendees were also informed about the urgent need to address rabies as a significant NTD, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

The World Health Organization’s recommendation for rabies vaccination as part of post-exposure prophylaxis was highlighted, along with Gavi, the vaccine alliance’s consideration of support for rabies vaccine post-exposure prophylaxis starting in 2025. 

Member countries were encouraged to capitalize on this opportunity to reduce rabies-related mortality.

The event featured contributions from esteemed speakers including WHO Regional Director Dr. Matshidiso Moeti and Thoko Pooley from the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Organization.

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