Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor
Switzerland’s investment in Zimbabwe’s biopharmaceutical sector industry is set to increase as the two countries continue to explore further areas of cooperation in the health sector.
This follows a US$27 million investment in the production and processing of medicinal cannabis in Zimbabwe by the European country.
The partnership came out when Vice President General (Rtd) Dr Constantino Chiwenga held a closed-door meeting with the Swiss Confederation president Mr Alan Berset on the sidelines of the Patient Safety Summit in Montreux, Switzerland, on Friday.
“He heads the confederation department of home affairs, which also includes health, so we discussed quite a lot on the issues which affect the health sector and the assistance which they have given us. You are aware that Switzerland has invested in cannabis oil in the biopharmaceutical area in Zimbabwe and we have been having meetings with some of their pharmaceutical companies here in Switzerland – Roche and Norvatis – which we have signed Memoranda of Understanding with so that we can also get medicines from here and equipment. You know, they are very specialised in the pharmaceutical industry, but they also have industries in Zimbabwe which have been operating for some time and they are growing,” he said.
Other Swiss companies which have shown interest in establishing with Zimbabwe include Novartis which signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health and Child Care covering the provision of low-cost medicines to Zimbabwe, Roche which is another pharmaceutical company as well as Swiss Aviation group.