10 Aug Equatorial Guinea has all the essential medicines for its health programs.
Explanatory note regarding the information published in “Le Monde Afrique”
Despite the current context of a global pandemic, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has maintained the established strategies for the acquisition of essential medicines for all health programs, among which the free regular supply of medicines for Malaria programs stands out., Tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, Expanded Program of Vaccination, Dialysis, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and those contemplated in the protocol for managing cases of patients with COVID 19. In all these programs the medicines are free, subsidized by the Government of Guinea Equatorial. Thus, we categorically deny that there is a supposed crisis in supply, based on the list of essential drugs established by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
On the other hand, we clarify that the Central Drug Purchasing Center (CENTRAMED) receives from the General Management of Health Services, since 2020 and in addition to the stable budget for its operation, a new supply of drugs created to coordinate and standardize the criteria of acquisition of medicines and other sanitary materials.
In this same order, we highlight that CENTRAMED is not the only supplier of medicines in the country since the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MINSABS) has the contribution of companies recognized worldwide such as COFARMA, SANTIFARMA, GEFARMA, GLOBALFARMA or MUNDOFARMA, Among others, they distribute medicines from countries with large pharmaceutical companies that are legally validated for the production and export of medicines.
A stronger Equatorial Guinean health system
The Equatorial Guinean health system has a wide network of pharmacies throughout the national territory, state and private, which guarantee the accessibility of the population to the necessary medicines. In recent years, it has taken giant strides in its efficiency and optimization, with the absolute backing of the Government, showing significant progress, recognized worldwide.
In 2019, Equatorial Guinea received the P3 Impact Award, granted by the United States Department of State and the prestigious Concordia University, in recognition of the National Malaria Control Program that has served from XXX to XXX people.
At the same time, the Regional Certification Committee for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis declared Equatorial Guinea as a country free of this disease, an unprecedented achievement for the health of our nation.
In the fight against COVID 19, we also have external evaluations – such as Deep Knowledge that analyzes around 250 countries and regions – that place Equatorial Guinea as the sixth safest country on the African continent in the current health crisis and the best positioned in vulnerability. This means that the Equatoguinean population has a lower risk of transmitting the disease.
Data that is the result, in large part, of the rapid and effective response of the Government of Equatorial Guinea. Among the actions implemented against COVID 19 we highlight:
- STRENGTHENING THE COUNTRY’S DIAGNOSTIC CAPACITY
Strengthening of diagnostic capacity with the certification of the Baney Public Health Laboratory by WHO as a reference laboratory for the African region, with the capacity to perform up to 1,500 daily tests, covering national needs. It has been possible to decentralize and increase this activity in two support laboratories (BOME and MONGOMO).
Mass Testing campaigns have been established, systematically, as a mechanism for early identification of asymptomatic cases of COVID 19 and as a measure to reinforce antigen tests in different settings such as at borders, in institutions and schools, health units, etc.
- ACQUISITION OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND PROTECTIVE MATERIAL
Adequate logistics management has been in place, with a device for acquiring biomedical equipment, laboratory reagents, protective material and other consumables. The Government has guaranteed the air transport of all resources and has allowed the vitality of the services, the response capacity of the health institutions and the extreme protection of the health workers in the red zone, an element that has contributed to the number of sick health workers in the country is well below international indicators.
Along the same lines, medical care was strengthened and the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) were strengthened with the purchase of artificial respirators, anti-pandemic robots, and the distribution of oxygen concentrators in all district hospitals in the country.
- STRENGTHENING OF SPECIALIZED HUMAN RESOURCES
In May 2020, a team of Chinese experts from the Wuhan National Health Commission arrived in the country, sharing experiences and management protocols with members of the COVID-19 Surveillance and Response Committee.
Two reference centers were established at the national level for case management: at the Sampaka Hospital for the insular region and the Mongomo Hospital for the continental region. A brigade of reinforcement of Cuban professionals (“Henry Reeve” Medical Brigade) was incorporated to the Equatorial Guinean health personnel and training was carried out on the Case Management Protocol for more than 100 health workers from all the health districts of the national territory.
- AVAILABILITY OF MEDICINES AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE PROTOCOL WITH THE INCLUSION OF REMDESIVED
An Action Protocol for therapeutic management was developed, based on the WHO Technical Guidelines, using antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs that enhance the immune system, such as Interferon Alpha 2 B, antimicrobials, as well as specific antivirals. Among the latter, it should be noted that Equatorial Guinea was the first country in Africa, and one of the few in the world, to acquire the drug Remdesivir, managed by the Vice President of the Republic and President of the Political Committee, HE Teodoro NGUEMA OBIANG MANGUE, and generating a positive impact on the clinical evolution of patients.
- THE VACCINE PROGRAM AGAINST COVID-19
Since February of this year, the country has started a national vaccination campaign against COVID 19. To date, a total of 860,000 doses have been received that will guarantee the immunity of approximately 60% of the target population. However, the Government is managing the acquisition of more vaccines to achieve immunization of the largest percentage of the population.
As a result of all these efforts, the positivity rate is 0.9%, and the fatality rate is 1.38%, both indicators well below those registered at the international, continental and Central African region, with a very low hospital pressure and with a 0 occupancy index of ICU beds due to COVID 19 at the moment.
Some results endorsed by several international organizations such as Our world in data, which lists Equatorial Guinea as the third in the continent with the most vaccinated people or the CDC of the United States, which recently places it at level 1 of low risk, even above large European powers.
An article with political objectives
For all the foregoing, WE REPUDE the unfounded accusations made to the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and consequently to its health system, in this unscrupulous article, with clear political objectives, and we condemn the marked intention to tarnish the image of health in the country.
Each of the actions described in the country’s health management have been the result of the political will of our Vice President of the Republic HE Teodoro NGUEMA OBIANG MANGUE, in his capacity as well as President of the Political Committee to confront COVID 19, who has not spared wills, in its systematic monitoring and maintenance of the different strategies of the Health System. We take the opportunity to, from the MINSABS, raise our highest recognition and gratitude for all the efforts that are being deployed in the excellent Political and Strategic Management, in the field of health and in other sectors in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.