African island states launch joint medicines procurement initiative

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Ministers of Health from seven small African island states signed an agreement to jointly procure drugs and vaccines in a bid to improve quality and access to medicines and other health products.
The ministers from Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritius, Sao Tome & Principe and Seychelles that form the Small Island Developing States signed the Pooled Procurement agreement to take advantage of economies of scale and collective bargaining. High cost of drugs and medical supplies is one of the major challenges the small island states face due to their modest populations.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, and WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, joined the ministers in the virtual signing ceremony. Dr Tedros congratulated the ministers for this important step forward and pledged continued support from WHO to help the countries in implementing the agreement.