Windhoek-It is a concern that Namibia has one of the highest prices for medicines in the SADC region. This was said at the third Medicine Utilisation Research in Namibia (MURIA) conference that took place last week.
The conference, hosted by the University of Namibia (Unam), the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other relevant stakeholders took place under the theme ‘Medicine Utilisation and Research in Africa: influencing patient care and policy.’
The public relations officer at Unam, Simon Namesho said countries in Europe and other parts of the world have succeeded to bargain with manufacturers through research and regional contracts in order to lower the costs of medicines.
Namesho further explained WHO’s goal for ‘health for all’ may not be attained if populations do not have access to quality and affordable medicines as well as ensuring that medicines are used appropriately.
“Though Africa has the highest burden of diseases including infectious and non-communicable diseases, essential medicines remain inaccessible to many communities and populations in Africa, mainly due to costs and wastages,” added Namesho.
He further said the rise of anti-microbial resistance for example as a consequence of inappropriate use of antibiotics mainly affects lower and middle income countries in Africa, said Namesho. An antimicrobial is an agent that kills mirco-organisms or stops their growth.
The Medicine Utilisation Research in Namibia (MURINA) within the School of Pharmacy at Unam hosted the third conference to build capacity and implement research activities for medicine utilization and research in Namibia.
Stakeholders had training on conducting medicine utilisation and research to increase access to quality and affordable medicines and to improve the rational use of medicines.
The conference attracted member states from over 16 countries in Arica, Europe and South America.