First African-manufactured medicine to prevent malaria approved by WHO

Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP) is a well-tolerated, effective and affordable medicine used to prevent malaria in pregnant women and infants; Nearly all malaria cases and deaths occur in Africa, yet until now, the continent was completely reliant on imported quality-assured SP; This breakthrough responds to the need for local production of quality medicines for use in Africa, a major gap that was critically highlighted when the COVID-19 pandemic left the continent with limited access to vital health products in 2020
Local supply of a medicine used to prevent malaria across Africa received a boost recently, as the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a quality certification to the first African manufacturer of a key antimalarial drug used to prevent infection in pregnant women and children. Called pre-qualification, this certification will enable Kenyan manufacturer Universal Corporation Ltd (UCL) to support regional efforts to combat malaria through local production of high-quality sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). UCL’s pre-qualification was achieved with funding from global health agency Unitaid and support from MMV.

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