Rwanda to host regional office for global vaccine institute

  • World
  • Wednesday, 28 Feb 2024

KIGALI, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda is set to host the Africa Regional Office for the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), scheduled to open this year, according to a joint statement released by the Rwandan Ministry of Health and IVI on Tuesday.

The IVI Board of Trustees confirmed Rwanda as the location for IVI's Africa Regional Office at a meeting in February, following a detailed evaluation of proposals from five countries to host the regional office, according to the release.

"Hosting the IVI Africa regional office is yet another milestone toward a resilient Africa concerning potential public health emergencies, and we are honored to serve as its host. We are committed to continuing this important partnership with IVI and initiating similar collaborations in the future," said the Rwandan Minister of Health Sabin Nsanzimana in the statement.

He added that the move aligns with Rwanda's commitment to bridging the vaccine equity gap on the African continent and venturing into local production of vaccines, therapeutics and other life-saving medical products.

The IVI Global Council, composed of IVI State Parties, unanimously endorsed the institute's intention to strengthen its presence in Africa during its inaugural meeting in October 2023.

This continental approach aims to bridge vaccine research, development and training, with sustainable manufacturing as its final objective, reflecting IVI's strategic focus on international expansion.

"We are thrilled to announce the decision to establish IVI's Africa Regional Office in Rwanda. This new office will play a pivotal role in providing on-the-ground support and leadership for IVI's work in Africa," said Jerome Kim, director-general of IVI in the statement.

He said that the Rwanda office will help increase IVI engagement and coordination with African stakeholders, establishing stronger partnerships around training for vaccine research and development (R&D), manufacturing and policy.

"We look forward to joining the growing ecosystem of vaccine R&D partners on the continent and continuing our work with local and regional collaborators to support sustainable vaccine manufacturing," Kim ADDED.

As the administrative focal point in the region, the IVI Africa Regional Office in Kigali will represent IVI on the continent, expanding its member base and engagement.

Serving as an implementing partner in the regional vaccine ecosystem, the office will prioritize clinical trial training capacity and collaborate with local partners to invigorate vaccine research, development and innovation in Rwanda and beyond.

IVI, headquartered in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, already has a Europe Regional Office in Sweden and a Country Office in Austria.

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