Sanofi Makes Kenya Hub for All Operations in East Africa

Pharmaceutical Company Sanofi have recently inaugurated their regional office in Nairobi to co-ordinate and dictate all its activities in Kenya and its neighboring countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Sanofi has been very involved in East Africa’s medical sphere of late and has been a chief supplier of medical products and vaccines in the East African market.

“Establishing a regional office in Kenya is a strong vote of confidence by Sanofi on its investment intent for the region,” Peter Munyasi, general manager of Sanofi for East Africa said.

Sanofi’s efforts in Kenya have been focused on managing diabetes and thrombosis. The company oversaw the launch of a new drug for diabetes just last month. The drug-manufacturers however are only one of a number of French companies trying to grow their influence in the markets of East Africa.

Kim Ramoneda, the deputy head of mission charge d’affaire at the French embassy revealed that 100 companies have set-up local offices in Kenya that shows the amount of serious interest the market is attracting presently.

Ms. Ramoneda believes that this interest stems from the nation’s status a regional hub in East Africa and its potential to grow even further. This potential has led many multinational companies from developed western countries like the UK and the United States to flock to Kenya and other parts of the region.

Other firms that have established branches in Kenya of late include names like Bechtel and General Electric.

Tanzanian Government Makes New Raft of Investments in Healthcare

The National Assembly was informed of the allocation of 30bn/- for the purpose of the bettering health delivery services in the districts of Simiyu, Njombe, Mara and Katavi earlier this week. The funds have been released by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and will be one of their highest priorities this term.

Dr Faustine Ndugulile, the Deputy Minister said that these funds will be used to purchase ambulances and will be distributed in the hospitals of the vicinity to support a growing dmand for medical services and medical products.

While speaking about the investment Dr Ndugulile said that the goal of this activity was to uplift the districts of Itilima and Busega and have them the standards of other health facilities in Kenya. He also said that construction work is focused mainly on the Outpatient Department (OPD).

At least 1.2bn/- has been allocated to improve infrastructures in the districts,” he told the National Assembly. He further added that some 525 m/- was allocated for Ikindilo health centre infrastructure and 450 m/- for Nasa Health centre in Itilima and Busega respectively.

“We also allocated 240 m/- to improve infrastructure in eight dispensaries where each will get 30 m/-,” he said. He announced that during the Financial Year 2018/19, the government has allocated 1.5bn/- for the two districts to improve health infrastructures.

Tanzanian Medical Sector Continues to Prosper with Latest Round of Investment

A group of 38 interested investors including big names like Suma JKT, Africables and Reginald Mengi have earmarked the Tanzanian pharmaceutical sector for investments worth approximately 1 trillion in Medical trade.

Ms. Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children has expressed her delight at the news and reserved special praise for President Magufuli for his efforts in attracting such volume of investment into the nation’s pharmaceutical sector.

There remains a huge demand for both the import and export of medicine and medical supplies in Tanzania today. The nations spends a sum of 1 trillion on the annual import of drugs and medical supplies. This new investment will be a major boost for the economy and will reduce drug prices substantially while creating a large number of job opportunities in the process.

Mr. Charles Mwijage, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has said that good health will be of prime importance to the administration if they are to achieve the goals laid out in ‘Vision 2025’.

The minister also spoke about how the set-up of factories domestically will help the country relieve some of the pressure on bulk exports and reduce prices for the common citizen. . “We need a strong Tanzanian private sector, we therefore encourage our people to grab the opportunity… the government is working on regulatory reforms to eradicate existing challenges and already the one stop centre is in place,” said Mr Mwijage.

He also revealed that all pharmaceutical entities setting shop in the nation will also have to partner with think tanks for the betterment of the industry. He was quoted saying “Among things needed to put up a factory is technology, capital and market as for the market you already have 1.3trl/- as reference.

We have been informed here of tax exemption incentives of up to 100 per cent on machinery and other things,” he said. The Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Tanzania (PST), Mr Ramadhani Madabida said to procure drugs abroad is politically untenable, socially undesirable and economic unviable. Mr Madabida noted some of the challenges as market access, advising the government to consider the possibilities of paying for locally produced medicines in advance due to financial weakness of the industries.

Tanzania a Major Attraction for Medical Tourism after New Investments

Tanzania is set to become a major attraction for medical tourism amongst neighboring East African countries and abroad after a major announcement was made about the adoption of a cancer screening technology called Positron Emmision Tomography (PET Scan) was announced.

This technology is not available in other parts of the region and according to Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, patients in need of this tech can now avail it in Tanzania instead of being referred to India and other distant countries.

“The government has allocated 14.5bn/- during the coming financial year to purchase the equipment which will be installed at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute,” Ms Mwalimu announced at a media event.

She also rallied for the private sector to get more involved in the nation’s health sector and urged the administration to encourage the private sector by establishing a new incentive program.

Tanzania health sector has progressed incredibly over recent years with invasive procedures like heart surgeries and transplants being performed within the country at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI).

Airtel Tigo’s Newest Product to Boost Rwanda’s Medical Insurance

Airtel-Tigo Rwanda has joined hands with Radiant Insurance Company to bring a new digital insurance product to the public called Ingoboka Cash. This new service is expected to boost the current medical insurance services present in the nation. The product represents a major step in the goal to digitalize the insurance sector.

Ingoboka Cash has revealed two models, both developed for airtel money subscribers. These two plans are segmented based on usage. These variants are Ingoboka Cash y’ubuntu and Ingoboka Cash yishyuwe.

The product will only be eligible to those subscribed to Airtel money and these individuals will be provided with acess to Rwf 4000 on a daily basis to support their medical needs. But this will be based on the condition that the said customer has used a minimum amount worth Rwf 1000 in the previous month.

Phillip Amoateng, Airtel-Tigo Rwanda’s new Managing Director said in a statement that the product was designed specifically with the goal of digitalization of the insurance sector in Rwanda.

It is a commitment we have dedicated to the health and welfare of our customers, Amoateng noted adding that Ingoboka Cash is expected to further boost the uptake of insurance products in the country.

The executive secretary of Rwanda Insurers Association (ASSAR), Jean Pierre Majoro has the impact and the role of innovative products such as these and has credited them for the improved reach of the medical insurance sector.

Kibe Waringa, the Country Director highlighted the importance of the players in the sector to accept digital solutions as it has proved an influential tool in market penetration on a global scale.

“We therefore believe digitization of insurance products and services will rapidly deliver appropriate solutions for the low-income people to mitigate risks and improve livelihoods in Rwanda,” he said.

The partnership between Access to Finance Rwanda, Inclusivity Solutions, Airtel and Radiant Insurance is yet another solution designed to disrupt the insurance market by accelerating the insurance penetration in the country.

Tanzania Allocate Sh161.1 Billion to Healthcare

President John Magufuli has revealed that 170 health centres in Tanzania have had their facilities upgraded over the past few months. The process saw the government allocate a gargantuan amount upwards of Sh161.9 billion ($72 million) to fully complete.

On the completion of this improvement exercise, these health facilities will be fully equipped to perform emergency operations on pregnant women and children as the country continues to work towards first-class maternal and child care.

President Magufuli was quick to express his delight at this latest development at a function where he unveiled 181 vehicles worth an estimated Sh20.75 billion for the use of the Medical Stores Department (MSD). These vehicles will be used for the express purpose of transporting medical supplies throughout the country.

In addition to the up gradation of health facilities, the government has also invested heavily in the construction of 268 more health centres. Tanzania now has a grand total of 7,284 health facilities in the nation. Magufuli also reiterated his administration’s intent to continue in this vein and build more facilities, “This includes construction of regional hospitals in the new regions of Njombe, Geita, Katavi and Simiyu. We are also introducing and improving specialized services in various hospitals in the country,” he said.