Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports
OpenLife Nigeria has gathered that Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed nearly $4 million to enable manufacturers to more than triple the production of auto-disable syringes to ramp up syringe manufacturing to address the looming shortfall in low- and middle-income countries.
This is contained in a statement made available to OpenLife by African Media Agency, AMA.
According to the statement, Revital Healthcare (EPZ) Limited, a Kenyan medical supply manufacturer, announced that it received nearly $4 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand the production of auto-disable vaccine syringes.
This funding will enable Revital to increase syringe production volume from approximately 72 million to nearly 265 million annually towards the end of 2022, enough to cover more than half of the routine immunization needs in Africa.
Global demand for auto-disable syringes has surged in 2021 as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has progressed around the world. Recent estimates project that there will be a significant shortfall in auto-disable syringes in 2022, which would acutely impact both COVID- 19 vaccination and childhood immunization, including the roll-out of new malaria vaccines, in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Africa.
“Expanding manufacturing capacity in Africa for critical supplies like syringes is essential to ensure adequate supply for the continent,” said Roneek Vora, Sales, Marketing & Development Director at Revital Healthcare. “We are proud to be part of global efforts to help ensure that Africans have access to life-saving vaccination. Revital Healthcare’s goal is to become the largest medical disposable manufacturer in Africa by 2030, helping the continent produce more of its own crucial healthcare commodities.”
Expanding Revital’s manufacturing capacity will geographically diversify the global supplier base of syringes, mitigate transportation costs, and help stabilize supply in Africa. There are far more than 20 auto-disable syringe manufacturers prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO) globally. However, Revital Healthcare (EPZ)Limited is currently the only WHO prequalified manufacturer for vaccine syringes in Africa that is contracted by UNICEF and WHO for syringe supply.
For more than two decades, auto-disable syringes have been the mainstay of vaccination campaigns in low- and middle-income countries, as their fixed needle and locking mechanism prevent re-use, minimizing transmission of blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis B and HIV.
“With the increasing availability of new vaccines against COVID-19, we are on the verge of critical shortages of the syringes needed to safely vaccinate people,” said Orin Levine, director of Global Delivery Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We’re proud to be supporting a significant expansion of syringe manufacturing in Africa, for Africa, to assure a stable supply of safe auto-disable syringes for vaccinating people against COVID-19 and a host of other preventable diseases.”
Revital estimates that this support will lead to the creation of over 100 direct new jobs and over 5,000 indirect jobs out of which Revital has committed to ensuring that at least 50% of new hires are women. Revital also aims to expand continuously by manufacturing various medical devices, hence, supporting more jobs, boosting the economy and assisting LMIC’s.
“With the support from organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Revital is one step closer in ensuring that we fight these deadly diseases that are killing millions of people worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries” said Rajni Vora, Chairman, Revital Healthcare. Revital,