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Nigeria unveils first locally manufactured glucose meter, strip factory to tackle diabetes

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The Federal Government through the Coordinating Health minister, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, Tuesday, unveiled Nigeria’s first locally manufactured glucose meter and strip facility, Colexa Biosensor Diagnostics Manufacturing to tackle the prevalence of diabetes.

This development is coming a few weeks after the establishment of the presidential unlocking Healthcare value chain initiative, and the signing of the Health Sector Renewal Compact, Prof. Pate said that the move underscored the bold ingenuity and ample resourcefulness of the private sector.

Speaking at the official commissioning of the factory, Pate disclosed that the federal government was determined to promote policies and programs that would help reduce the financial pains faced by Nigerians in accessing timely diagnosis and treatment.

READ ALSO: 18% of COVID-19 deaths in Africa linked to diabetes —WHO

In his keynote address, Pate reiterated the commitment of FG to patronize local manufacturers of healthcare products and ensure the prevention of spending the country’s short supply of foreign exchange on importation of pharmaceutical products that can be produced locally.

“Our President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, sees it as unacceptable that 99% of medical devices and more than 70% of our generic pharmaceutical equipment in Nigeria are imported. The Federal Government will purchase locally manufactured diabetes test kits because we know that diabetes is a very significant cause of morbidity in our country. We are committed to developing our healthcare industry to contribute to the African healthcare market by providing the critical commodities and services that will optimize the health of our populations, ensure our health security and retain all the economic value in our country”, he said.

In his remark, the Executive Chairman, Colexa Biosensor Limited, Mr. Sammy Ogunjimi, stated that with the firm’s focus on Africa and with Nigeria as its base, it aims to extend its solution throughout Africa and the world and contribute its efforts to correcting the deficit in the balance of trade and to raising the volume of exports to improve the foreign exchange situation.

He said, “We aim to localize and backward integrate to reduce our dependence on imports and this factory is the first step towards achieving that goal. As a testament to our utmost desire to ensure consistent product and service quality, we are happy to announce that this factory has received 2 Quality Management System certifications – 1st the ISO 13485:2016 (IVD) Certificate, and the ISO 9001: 2015 (process) certificate. We have also received a successful independent comparative evaluation of OnPoint BGM with the market gold standard through the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN). Colexa Biosensor Limited will provide direct employment for over 700 staff and several more indirectly”.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Prince Julius Adewale Adelusi-Adeluyi, a former Minister of Health, urged the government to ensure an environment that enables companies like Colexa Biosensor to thrive and remain sustainable. Some of the ways he proposed that the government can support them include the patronage of the products and total removal of import duty on pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, raw materials, and accessories, rather than having to apply for Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) each time, which sometimes take up to two months.

In her goodwill message, the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof (Mrs.) Mojisola Adeyeye spoke about the attainment of Maturity level 3 by NAFDAC as a major opportunity that would ensure that quality products from Nigeria are accessible and acceptable to African countries.

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