Engcobo, Umtata: Ex-president Nelson Mandela officially opened the Engcobo Community Healthcare Centre located outside Umtata earlier today.
Aspen Pharmacare, Southern Africa’s largest JSE-listed pharmaceutical company, has funded the multi-million rand healthcare facility. Stephen Saad, Group Chief Executive of Aspen Pharmacare said “we are strategically positioned to supply a vast range of pharmaceuticals, including low cost branded generic medicines, to communities throughout South Africa and we are particularly pleased to be able to assist government with the immediate needs of the people of Engcobo”.
“As South Africa’s leading producer of generic medication, Aspen Pharmacare is also able to manufacture and supply antiretroviral generics for HIV/Aids patients at less than $1 per day, which is highly comparative with offers being made from multi-national manufacturers”.
“South Africa is on the brink of an HIV/Aids holocaust which is already claiming thousands of lives. Aspen Pharmacare is standing by to assist in reducing the pain of sufferers by providing generic drugs should the government give us the green light,” said Saad.
Saad confirmed that Aspen Pharmacare had been in discussions with government for more than a year regarding the provision of the generic antiretroviral drugs and that the company was positive that preference would be given to a local supplier for the desperately needed medication.
“Should the government also be successful in its attempts to enforce generic substitution to lower the cost of medicines, Aspen can provide the generic solution and contribute significantly to the economy through job creation”, said Saad.
The Engcobo Healthcare Centre is perfectly located to take care of the needs of the community inflicted with HIV/Aids, once an initiative is implemented by government to provide treatment for these patients. The centre will also provide the community with medical specialists who will initially travel from Umtata, nurses training facilities, a medicines dispensary, a maternity ward and delivery room.
Mr Titus head of the Engcobo Healthcare Centre said that the centre would provide the community with desperately needed medical assistance, which until a year ago was no more than a dream.
Aspen Pharmacare has provided a complete infrastructure for the healthcare centre from bricks and mortar to its IT requirements including software that had been designed to notify the Department of Health when medical stocks need replenishment.