The newly appointed leadership of the Kenya Biovax Institute (KBI) Limited held a special consultative meeting with the Kenya Multi-Agency, Multi- Sectorial Committee of Human Vaccine Production on Thursday 2nd December 2021 at KEMRI Headquarters.
The meeting brought together the Multi-Agency Chair, Dr. Daniel Mbinda together with his committee members and newly appointed KBI chairman, Mr. Mugo Kibati and his Board of Directors who include Sachen Chandaria, Shamim Chanzu and Dennis Rangi. Present during the meeting were Ag. Director General, Prof. Sam Kariuki, Deputy Director in charge of Commercial Services, Dr. Cecilia Wanjala and Director, Legal Services, Mr. Martin Machira. Other members of staff also present include, Mr. James Nduati and Winston Sankale among others.
This consultative meeting is a journey towards human vaccines self-sufficiency in the country after months of brainstorming, the development of Human Vaccine Production facility by the appointment of a committee, the development of an action plan and identification of physical facilities that is hosting the plant.
The committee held a three-day virtual stakeholders’ workshop on local human vaccine production in KEMRI Training Centre on Monday 1st November 2021 which was attended by key figures including Dr. Mbinda who is also the chairman of the KEMRI Board of Directors, Director General, Ministry of Health, Prof. Patrick Amoth, Ag. DG, Prof. Kariuki, the Chair, National Multi-Agency COHVP, Dr. Jane Wachira among other dignitaries.
Currently, Kenya imports 70 per cent of her pharmaceutical requirements, including vaccines and other biological products. During the opening speech, Prof. Kariuki stated that “I am informed that this team, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mbinda, who is also the board Chair for KEMRI, already presented to the Cabinet Secretary of Health, Hon. Mutahi Kagwe the concept note and budget line as well as approved the legal framework to govern the human vaccine production under, Kenya Biovax Institute Ltd. The team has already established the site for the construction of the production facility in Embakasi, Nairobi and facility assembly process has already started. This is a commendable speed and expediency in delivering on your mandate as a committee. The Government of Kenya recognizes that vaccination is one of the most successful cost-effective interventions in disease control and the country has established a solid system to ensure that her citizens are protected against vaccines preventable diseases, including COVID-19.’
The appointment of the KBI leadership is thus a momentous development for vaccine development in Kenya.