Mauritius is looking for Indian support to become the pharma hub of Africa.

Thursday April 21, 2022 at 4:49 pm

In a bid to position Mauritius as the pharmaceutical hub of Africa, its government is looking for the Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry’s support for creating a flourishing pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing sector of its own.

Speaking at Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit held in Gandhinagar on April 20, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, commented, “India is hailed as pharmacy of the world. We are encouraging pharma and vaccine manufacturing units in Mauritius, intending to position the country as the pharmaceutical hub of Africa. The country is pushing the pharmaceutical industry as a new pillar of its economy. We are exploring avenues for cooperation and mutual benefits in the pharma and biotech sector.”

The Global Ayush Investment & Innovation Summit was organized to promote and encourage AYUSH medical systems (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) – the conventional medical systems that are practiced traditionally in India. The summit is organized to bring global recognition to the traditional medicine systems and integrate them with the modern health care system. The summit was attended by several dignitaries, including the honorable prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, who also announced that the Indian government is going to create new AYUSH parks for promoting the manufacturing of AYUSH products and FSSAI is going to launch an AYUSH mark to signify the quality of AYUSH products.

As per the government budget, 2021-22 presented by the Mauritius finance ministry, initial seed capital of MUR 1 billion will be injected into the pharma sector of the economy to encourage the development of Mauritius Institute Biotechnology to produce Covid-19 vaccines and several other pharmaceutical products. Mauritius government is also going to provide attractive fiscal incentives, including tax credits and tax exemptions, which the government will thus offer to the private companies that may construct purpose-built factories for the objective of manufacturing pharmaceutical products.

Mauritius is also investing heavily in the required infrastructure and equipment to provide adequate protection to its health care personnel and better respond to the population’s needs. In this vein, “we are increasing the public health budget to 14.5 billion,” claimed Jugnauth.

That will enable the acquisition of desired high-tech equipment, including a new CT scan and 80 hemodialysis equipment, along with a Cyberknife Robotic Radiosurgery System, which the government will install for advanced cancer treatment in the New Cancer Centre. In terms of health infrastructure, the thematical budget provides for the construction of a new cancer center; a new regional hospital is to be established in the East of the island. He said a unique eye hospital, six medicines, five community health centers, 4 area health centers, and a modern cardiac center in the center of the island.

He commented, “Traditional medicines have been used for centuries, talking about traditional medicines. Mauritians traditionally use Ayurvedic medicine, and its practice is considered legal per Mauritian law. A significant percentage of the Mauritian population has adopted the ayurvedic system as a first-line healthcare system. Mauritius has Ayurveda clinics addressing digestive problems, skin problems, noncommunicable diseases, etc. The Ministry of Ayush India has instituted an academic chair for Ayurveda at the University of Mauritius to help promote science for the benefit of the people of Mauritius following an MoU signed between India and Mauritius. An Ayush hospital will be set up in Mauritius, which will be a center of excellence.”

He also stressed the need to integrate Yoga, Ayurveda, and traditional integrative medicine to further broaden the scope for Ayurveda practitioners in India and Mauritius.