Promoting Quality Healthcare Through Local Manufacturing
Co-authored by Ms Krupali Shah, Technical Director, Revital Healthcare EPZ Ltd and Ms Catherine Wanjiru, Project Associate at Africa Health Business
This heavy dependence on other nations for the supply of medical commodities predisposes the continent to disruptions in meeting health needs in the event of political, economic, and/or social upheaval in the countries that it depends on. The effects of this dependence became evident in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic where some African nations could not respond to the demand for medical services due to lack of essential medical commodities. Although the need for self-reliance through local production of medical commodities existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, its cruciality was continentally acknowledged following the full-blown effects of the pandemic.
Why Local Manufacturing of Medical Commodities is Crucial
Through local manufacturing of medical commodities, Africa can meet the snowballing needs of the population quickly. Shipping of medical commodities from one continent to another lasts weeks to months. If the environment in the country supplying a product is disrupted in any way, the waiting time becomes longer, and depending on the health need, lives may be at risk. In an evidence brief published in the German Health Practice Collection (GHPC), local manufacturing will help to establish strong health systems in Africa. National governments will be prompted to increase funding for production to improve medicines access, enhance skill in readiness for local manufacturing, and public and non-profit procurements will become more responsive to health needs.
Manufacturing of Quality Products
Revital has been contributing to continuously improve Africa’s public health for over 15 years with the manufacture and supply of over 45 Medical Devices to over 27 countries around the world, including supply to WHO and UNICEF.
Their vision to become a global manufacturer and supplier of Medical Disposables has continued to progress exponentially. Revital Healthcare currently manufactures over 1 billion Medical Devices annually while constantly developing innovative products such as Immunization Syringes, Auto-Disabled and Re-Use Prevention Syringes, COVID-19 Viral Transport Medium (VTM) Kits, Rapid Diagnostic Tests, Oxygen Delivery Systems and many more.
Some of the notable highlights that we recorded in 2021 are as follows:
1.Receiving $4M in grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the expansion of our 0.5ml Auto-Disable Syringe line to manufacture 300,000,000 units in 2022, given the global syringe shortage the world is facing.
2.Being contracted to supply more than 300M 0.5ml Auto-Disables Syringe to UNICEF warehouses in Dubai and Copenhagen and 50M 2ml Vaccine Syringes to India. This was the first time in history that a company in Kenya and Africa, was exporting essential medical syringes to India. Additionally, contracted an LTA for the World Health Organization to supply more than 10M vaccine Syringes.
3.Receiving $3M in PE Funding from two Japanese funders to assist in achieving our strategic company expansion and diversification.
4.Partnership with Vayu Global Health (USA) to being an exclusive manufacturer of the world’s first and only bCPAP (bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) system that functions without electricity to support neonates worldwide.
5.Diversifying the portfolio to introduce Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDT’s) of COVID-19 and Malaria tests and aiming to expand to HIV, Hepatitis B, Pregnancy and many more.
Development of Innovative Solutions
Africa carries a heavy burden of many diseases globally. According to the World Malaria Report 2020, Africa reported approximately 228 million cases of malaria, which accounted for 95% of the global burden and about 602,000 deaths, which accounted for approximately 96% of deaths globally. Six African countries accounted for about 55% of the cases globally and more than 50% of deaths. About two-thirds of the deaths were caused by disruptions paused by COVID-19 pandemic for the supply of diagnosis, management, and treatment commodities. World Health Organization recommends early diagnosis and treatment of malaria as a critical action of reducing the disease burden and mortality rates. Still on the same subject of disease burden, approximately 120 million children under 5 years suffer due to distress in their respiratory systems. While there are existing solutions to address this challenge, most of them have been designed for high resource settings. Majority of, if not all, African countries are far from being classified as high resource settings.
Revital Healthcare (EPZ) Limited has taken a step forward into the production of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs) and Vayu bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP), thus addressing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
SDG 3: Good health and well-being
By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
Promoting Manufacturing through Human Capital Empowerment
About Africa Health Business
Learn more: Our solutions