President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has encouraged local scientists and innovators to partner with colleagues around the world so that they can develop the science sector in Uganda.
He made these remarks while commissioning Microhaem Scientifics (MHS), a state-of-the-art diagnostic manufacturing facility in Ntinda, Kampala, on November 27, 2023.
The President said that the plant will boost local manufacturing capacity and provide high-quality, affordable malaria and HIV diagnostic testing kits.
“I commissioned the Microhaem Scientifics (MHS) diagnostic manufacturing plant in Ntinda yesterday. This plant will boost our local manufacturing capacity and provide high-quality, affordable malaria and HIV diagnostic testing kits,” the president said.
He stated that by collaborating with these global partners, Uganda will be able to take advantage of the African market and other factors, such as cheaper labour and raw materials.
While commissioning the plant, the president lauded the young people for waking up and getting out of the slavery of dependence.
“I want to salute you young people for waking up and getting out of the slavery of dependency because that has been the problem for Africa,” President Museveni said.
The president said the government will continue to capitalise on UDB, the country’s development bank, to enable more Ugandan entrepreneurs to access affordable development capital.
President Museveni assured that the government, through the Ministry of Health, will procure the test kits produced by MHS, particularly for HIV and malaria, among other essential medical devices, and asked the firm to invest in research to develop more homemade molecular and diagnostic devices.
The development of the $25 million (about UGX 96 billion) facility has been financed through partner funding from the Uganda Development Bank (UDB), which provided a top-up of USD 6.3 million (about UGX 24 billion), including the importation of Hi-Tech Medical Equipment and machines as well as working capital support.
The diagnostic plant, a trailblazer in Sub-Saharan Africa, will produce high-quality yet affordable test kits across a range of diagnostic devices, including HIV and malaria test kits that will make a difference to millions of families across Africa.
In a speech at the commissioning of the multimillion-dollar facility, Dr. Cedric Akwesigye, the Managing Director and proprietor of Microhaem Scientifics, said that the plant, a toast of Uganda’s science innovation, will serve as the production hub for a diverse range of molecular and diagnostic test kits, encompassing HIV viral load kits, EID kits, and Hepatitis B kits, among others.
He revealed that Microhaem Scientifics acquired technology from leading partners, including Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech Co., Ltd. (China) and Deseret Laboratories Inc. (US-based), marking a significant milestone in the advancement of Uganda’s health sector.
Constructed in strict adherence to WHO standards, including ISO 13485 cGMP, Dr. Akwasigye said this facility has undergone thorough inspection by the NDA and World Health Organisation.