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East Africa's largest healthcare exhibition opens in Nairobi

By Edith Mutethya in Nairobi, Kenya | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-13 23:51

East Africa's largest healthcare exhibition and congress opened on Wednesday at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Kenya's capital Nairobi.

The three-day event is expected to bring together more than 5,000 government officials, healthcare professionals, and investors from across the globe to discover the latest healthcare and laboratory innovations that promise to redefine healthcare delivery in East Africa.

In parallel, regional and international experts will share cutting-edge insights and best practices on healthcare excellence, public health, and equity to address public and private healthcare challenges in the region.

Tom Coleman, exhibition director at Informa Markets, said 130 exhibitors from 32 countries will showcase their products.

He said Kenya is the healthcare hope for the East Africa region and that there are many growth opportunities in the country, which is why it was chosen as the venue for the event.

Coleman said the expo will bring together some leading global brands, including Siemens, Mindray, United Imaging, and Shenzhen New Industries Biomedical Engineering Company Ltd.

"With the increase in international pavilions, we are providing the ideal platform for the East Africa healthcare industry to build relationships with stakeholders from around the world," he said.

Coleman said the region holds huge investment opportunity and that he hopes many deals will be signed during the exhibition period.

"At the end of the exhibition, health stakeholders will be able to determine the best course of action to deliver good and quality healthcare across the East African region," he said. "The conferences will also address crucial issues and define solutions for current challenges."

Anthony Mwangi, the east and southern Africa cluster head of Novartis Kenya Limited, a pharmaceutical company, said he was excited to be part of the gathering, which he said was looking to make a positive impact in the healthcare ecosystem.

He said public-private partnerships are key to the challenges that are facing healthcare in Africa.

"When you look at statistics, the disease burden that we have in Africa is huge, at 25 percent compared to the rest of the world but unfortunately in terms of the healthcare workers, only 3 percent of the healthcare workers are based in Africa."

And Mwangi said less than 1 percent of global healthcare expenditure is spent in Africa.

"That presents in a nutshell the challenge that we have in the healthcare sector, hence the need to get different stakeholders and organizations coming together, pulling resources and expertise together, and piloting things on a small scale and scaling them up with time," he said.

Mwangi said his company is keen to collaborate on non-communicable diseases, which is one of its strong areas.

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