Reports that an African start-up has received funding to make affordable medicine is a welcome development. The continent has been on the receiving end of major deadly diseases and the high cost of treatment has left millions of families in dire straits.
It therefore comes a long-overdue intervention to learn that the continent’s pharmaceutical industry received a financial boost when the Skoll foundation donated $1.5 million to Ghana-based startup, mPharma.
While the amount may sound small compared to the billions of dollars spent by major Western pharmaceutical giants, it offers a ray of hope to the continent’s health sector.
According to the World Health Organisation, medicines account for 20 to 60 percent of health spending in low and middle-income countries. Up to 90 percent of people in developing countries have to pay for their medicines out-of-pocket
Hence any effort aimed at lowering the cost of medicine is quite welcome. The goal for universal health coverage can only be achieved if the cost of medicines is made affordable to all.