Every year, 2.6 million infants die globally before turning one month old, and every year, 10 million children die before their fifth birthday (UNICEF 2019). Sadly we are failing the world’s youngest citizens because more than 80% of these deaths are preventable.
Rephaiah is a pharmaceutical manufacturing company located in Kameza, just outside Blantyre, the old capital of Malawi. It focuses on manufacturing medicine to treat neglected diseases (e.g., malaria and schistosomiasis) in children under the age of 5 years, as well as diseases that are poorly treated such as epilepsy, etc. And at the same time, to work with Malawians in producing life-saving and life-enhancing drugs for infants and young children.
This project is spearheaded by Hananja plc, a small Icelandic pharmaceutical research and development company. Hananja plc. focuses on drug discovery, drug delivery, and the development of innovative drug treatments.
In late July 2022, Hananja plc and Kamuzu University of Health Sciences agreed to partner together to achieve this goal, as well as adding drugs to the pipeline that are important for the population and the health system of Malawi. In 2024 the Ministry of Health of Malawi (MoH, the Government of Malawi) joined the partnership.
We at Rephaiah aim to reach our mission throughout sub-Saharan Africa with our products, but Malawi was chosen as the site for manufacturing because:
Malawi is a peaceful society that has not been in a war with its neighbors, nor has it had problems with domestic violence. Its estimated population in 2021 was 19.7 million making Malawi one of the most densely populated country in Africa.
Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world, ranking number 172 out of 189 according to the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2019, and in 2020 it ranks number 152 out of 180 according to the Economic Freedom. The minimal monthly wages are about 33-50,000 MWK which is equivalent to approx. 20-30 USD or less than 1 USD per day. More than half of the country lives below the poverty line, and in 2020 the average annual wages were between 100 and 200 USD per year, or 8 to 17 USD a month.
Malawi is struggling with many aspects of basic human needs, such as health, education, and food security. Various challenges face the country, including a lack of resources, which makes it dependent on international development assistance.
We want to do our part in aiding in a field where we are qualified to do so, that is, the area of pharmaceutics.
Founded in 2001, Hananja plc. is a small family-run R&D biotechnology company located in Iceland. It is involved in the development of new drugs and vaccines with its core focus on rescue, life-saving, and life-enhancing drugs, as well as drugs to treat maternal and fetal health.
Hananja began working on the Rephaiah project in August 2016, following a vision. Since then, the focus has been on planning, preparation, and raising necessary funding and means.
Hananja has sponsored the cost involved in this preparation phase until today (March 2024).
Hananja plc has found the perfect partner to work with in Malawi, Kamuzu University of Health Science (KUHeS), the former College of Medicine (University of Malawi), an institution already in the business of teaching professionals to provide the best care for patients and the Ministry of Health of Malawi (the Government of Malawi). Hananja, KUHeS, and MoH share common values, and together we have the expertise to set our goal on Malawians manufacturing medicines for both a national and international market.
Our aim is to construct the factory in the Kameza area, just outside Blantyre, close to the international airport (Chileka International Airport). This location allows easy access to freight of goods. This location will secure good access to water, electricity, and high-speed internet.
The conceptual drawing has been designed by Mr. Paul Uzereau, a Chicago-based architect and engineer, specialized in constructing pharmaceutical plants. The Malawian architect is Mrs. Heather Musasa Mbiri. Mrs. Musasa Mbiri is an expert in pharmaceutical requirements (GMP) and international standards, as well as green architecture.
In addition, to focus on green building and environmental issues, the company focuses on equality such as equal gender, equality with respect to disabilities, race, etc.
"Leave no one behind"
Rephaiah is a member of UN Global Compact, focusing on the aspects that are important for future generations such as carbon footprint, waste management, water, pure energy, green chemistry as well as being paperless and green buildings.
Your support can save lives and give hope to the small ones