DILI, 28 august 2023 (TATOLI) – The Cuban government, through its Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Grisel Alina Aldama Innis, has once again reaffirmed Cuba’s commitment to supporting the Timorese government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão to work on the country’s pharmaceutical industry project.
The pharmaceutical project initiative was started last year by the VIII government and Innis, as the new Cuban ambassador to Timor-Leste, has pledged to take the project forward.
Innis said that the Cuban government is ready to support Timor-Leste to start working on the project at any time.
“We have informed the new government about Cuba’s position to support Timor-Leste in the manufacture of medicines. We are ready to support the government on any decision regarding the implementation of the project,” said Innis after a meeting with Prime Minister Gusmão at the Government Palace, today.
The aim of having a pharmaceutical industry project in the country is to help Timor-Leste achieve its goal of manufacturing its medicines, which will help reduce the country’s reliance on imported medicines.
Last year, the former Chargé d’Affaires of the Cuban Embassy in Dili, José Ernesto Díaz Pérez, said that the pharmaceutical factory is crucial for Timor, as it will not only manufacture medicines but also vaccines.
He said Cuba will help Timor-Leste to attain the best pharmaceutical technology as well as bring the best Cuban technicians and specialists to support the installation of the pharmaceutical factory in the country.
In response to Cuba’s commitment, the President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta urged the Ministry of Health to cooperate with international pharmaceutical companies from Cuba, Brazil, Portugal, and Indonesia to start up the pharmaceutical industry in the country.
Horta urged the government to use the petroleum fund wisely to invest in the production of medicines.
Last year, the Brazilian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Maurício Medeiros de Assis, also discussed with President Horta the possibility of inviting Brazilian pharmaceutical companies to invest in the country.
After the meeting, Ambassador Assis said that it was only an initial meeting, which requires a formal dialogue between the governments of the two countries to discuss the matter in detail.
Without a pharmaceutical factory, Timor-Leste relies heavily on medicines imported from other countries. As a result, recently some imported medicines, such as Aspirin from India failed to meet international standards, which has caused concern among communities.
The results of the drug’s quality were revealed following laboratory tests carried out by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
So, the distribution of aspirin is currently banned in the country following suspected issues associated with the medicine.
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges