West Africa's health systems need financial backing to overcome Ebola epidemic
More than 11,000 people have died of Ebola since the world’s worst outbreak of the disease, including 815 health workers, and health care systems in West Africa have yet to recover from the impact.
According to the World Health Organization, health systems that collapsed must be rebuilt urgently to provide basic services and confront other diseases.
RELATED TOPIC: How Much is Ebola Costing West Africa?
Recovery plans in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will cost US$2.3 billion, and only half of that amount has been pledged.
"If we want to ensure that this crisis doesn't happen again, we need all together to come up with this money," Dr. Ruediger Krech said at a news briefing. "We must reverse the trend in global health where we wait for the fire to flare up, run to put it out but then forget to fireproof the building."
RELATED TOPIC: Move Over Ebola, Measles is Now Taking Over West Africa
A senior official from the organization stated that donors need confidence in good governance to provide more funds.
"Some of these countries have problems with their governance, problems in terms of where money flows, so a lot of monies flow elsewhere. This needs to be addressed so that the international community also has trust and builds up trust that monies they are giving to those countries will be well spent," said Krech.
RELATED TOPIC: This Ebola Outbreak Might Not Go Away For A Very Long Time
"The devastating numbers of nurses who have lost their lives shows there is clearly an essential need for significant strengthening of safety policies and the provision of adequate protective equipment and appropriate training," David Benton, the head of the International Council of Nurses, said in a statement.
Although Liberia was declared Ebola-free this month, Guinea and Sierra Leone reported 35 new Ebola cases in the past week, four times as many as in the previous week.
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Bachem turns 50 - a timeline
Bachem, a supplier to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. We take a look at the Swiss company's history.
1971 - beginnings
Bachem is founded by entrepreneur Peter Grogg in Liestal, a small town near Basel in Switzerland. Grogg started the firm with just two employees, and with a focus on peptide synthesis - peptides are composed of amino acids that have a variety of functions treating health conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
1977 - 1981 - early growth
Bachem moves its headquarters to the Swiss town of Bubendorf, with eight employees. In 1978 the company produces peptides for use in medicines for the first time. In 1981 production capacity triples and the workforce grows to 150.
1987 - 1996 - worldwide expansion
The company expands into the US with Bachem Bioscience, Inc. in Philadelphia. To strengthen its presence in Europe, Bachem opens sales and marketing centres in Germany in 1988.
Further sales centres open in France in 1993. By 1995 the company employs 190 people. In 1996 it acquires the second largest manufacturer of peptides in the world and forms Bachem California with a site in Torrance.
1998 - 2003 - Bachem goes public
Bachem company goes public and lists shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Further acquisitions include Peninsula Laboratories, Inc, based in California, and Sochinaz SA, a Swiss-based manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients. By 2001, the company has 500 employees and sales reach 141 million CHF.
In 2003 the organisation is given a new legal holding structure to support its continued growth, which remains in place to this day.
2007 - 2013 - acquisitions
Bachem acquires a brand by Merck Biosciences for ready-to-use clinical trial materials and related services.
In 2013, together with GlyTech, Inc. Bachem announces the development of a new amino acid that can help to treat multiple sclerosis, with a world market of more than $4 billion.
In 2015 it acquires the American Peptide Company (APC), which becomes integrated into Bachem Americas.
2016 - 2019 - a global leader
In 2016 the group opens a new building dedicated to R&D projects and small series production in Bubendorf. With a total of 1,022 employees, the workforce exceeds the 1,000 mark for the first time in the company’s history. Sales are over the 200 million mark for the first time at 236.5 million CHF.
Bachem expands into Asia with the establishment of a new company in Tokyo called Bachem Japan K.K.
By 2019 Bachem has a growing oligonucleotide portfolio - these are DNA molecules used in genetic testing, research, and forensics. It is hoped this will become a significant product range in the future.
2020 - COVID-19
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Bachem secures its supply of active ingredients, and even increases it in critical areas. Sales exceed the 400 million Swiss franc mark for the first time, and 272 new employees are hired.
2021 - a milestone anniversary
Bachem celebrates its 50th anniversary and position as a global leader in the manufacture of peptides. While it remains headquartered in Bubendorf, the company employs 1,500 people at six locations worldwide. In the next five years there are plans to continue expanding.
Commemorating the company's anniversary, Kuno Sommer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: "Bachem's exceptional success story from a small laboratory to a global market leader is closely linked to Peter Grogg's values, and has been shaped by innovation, consistent quality and cost awareness, as well as by entrepreneurial vision."