The Numolux Group

The decolonisation of global health

At the Numolux Health Symposium held on 28 October in Pretora, South Africa – Department of
International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) Mr. Ben Joubert, Director: BRICS – offered
congratulations on the narrative of the event, from a foreign policy perspective. “ The narrative at
this symposium fits in very well with the narrative of our foreign policy, and that is – Africa first. Our
foreign policy sees the African continent as a priority. The narrative here today is what we do on a
global arena: African solutions for Africa’s issues, challenges and scenarios. What you are doing here
(at the symposium) is not only important for Africa, but if you look in terms of demographics and the
analysis out there, by the turn of the century, 80% of the world will be either African or Asian”
Sinovac Biotech from China, was represented at the symposium by Dr. Xin Qianqian and committed
to continue clinical trial collaborations with partners across Africa and in South Africa “We
manufacture a range of vaccines, including the inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, CoronaVac (which has
received full registration from SAHPRA in June 2022) Our mission is to supply vaccines which will
eliminate human disease, particularly in developing countries. Sinovac will be working closely with
South Africa, through our long-term collaboration with Numolux. We firmly believe that we can work
together and bring value in the space of clinical research and trials, vaccines and other medicines”
Renowned physician and health systems, policy and management specialist, Professor Ramneek
Ahluwalia, who also serves as a member of the Numolux Scientific Advisory Council, summarised the
proceedings by saying: “We are watching the outbreak of Ebola in African nations, and we have to
ask how much we are investing in clinical research and trials for Ebola vaccines? Are we waiting on
Ebola to become a global north problem and then only then wake up and become reactionary? What
are we going to do for Africa as a continent? Genetics and environment plays a huge role. Yet,
medicine for hypertension, malaria or TB are being engaged in global north – and then being sold to
an African economy. Medication needs to be relevant and effective to the African population.
We need to build clinical trial capacity in Africa. There is no way that we can be waiting in a queue
for a supply of vaccines and medicines from the global north. That is not the solution. I appeal to the
South African government and other African governments to allow the manufacture of vaccines on
the African continent, for the people of Africa. Centres for excellence in clinical research and trials in
global south – which includes South Africa, Africa and the Brics countries need to be recognised in
order for the decolonisation of global health to take place ”

The Numolux Group is set to host more health symposiums in the run-up to the 2023 BRICS summit.