•The Kilifi-based Revital Healthcare EPZ Ltd has received an order of 11 million Covid-19 vaccine syringes from Tanzania.
•The company however says the Kenyan government needs to support local companies more.
Kilifi-based Revital Healthcare EPZ Ltd has won a contract to supply medical equipment to Tanzania.
The manufacturing company has received an order of 11 million Covid-19 vaccine syringes from Tanzania.
Tanzania has ordered the 2ml, 5ml and 10ml vaccine syringes, management has confirmed.
This comes amid improved relations between Kenya and Tanzania since President Samia Suluhu took over leadership.
The company however says the Kenyan government needs to support Kenyan companies more.
Kenya buys only two of the 42 products the firm manufactures, yet Tanzania buys 11 products and Uganda buys 12, the firm said.
According to Revital Healthcare sales and market product development director, Roneek Vora, the Tanzanian market is now opening up ever since Tanzanian President Suluhu’s state visit to Kenya in early May.
“We have started to get a lot of enquiries for the Covid test kits that we manufacture from Tanzania,” said Vora.
Tanzania started taking measures to combat the virus after President Suluhu took over, after the death of former President John Magufuli.
While other countries imposed protocols against the virus, including lockdowns and restriction of movement, Tanzania conducted business as usual during Magufuli's reign, with no requirement to wear face masks.
Kenyan firms are however keen to tap the Tanzanian market as the country joins the world in dealing with the pandemic.
“We had a meeting this morning with one of my suppliers in Tanzania who is now interested to place orders for the Covid test kits, PPEs, surgical face masks, and other kits that we manufacture,” said Vora.
Revital Healthcare EPZ is the only manufacturer of the Covid test kits in Africa and one of the 66 manufacturers in the world which is USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) certified.
The firm has the capacity of producing 80,000 test kits a day.
The manufacturer also produces surgical face masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), among other medical equipment.
The latest product they manufacture is the Covid-19 antigen rapid diagnostic test kits.
At the same time, Revital Healthcare on Wednesday flagged off two shipments of two million pieces of 1ml conventional vaccine syringes to three European countries–Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
KAJ Medical is the firm that contracted Revital Healthcare for its products.
“This is the first time in history, not only for the Kenya government and for Kenya at large but even for Revital to be exporting vaccine syringes to Europe,” said Vora.
The Kilifi firm has also exported the syringes to other African countries including Uganda, Malawi, Eritrea and DRC.
Last week, the firm flagged off a shipment of syringes to Uganda.
“We won a contract with the Ugandan government for the shipment of 13.5 million 1ml conventional vaccine syringes. We have done two shipments this month,” said Vora.
So far, about four million of the vaccine syringes have been delivered to Uganda.
“This month, we have done UNICEF, WHO, and we have supplied to CHMP through WHO. And all these syringes are going to COVAX facility from where they will be transported to different centres around the world,” said Vora.
Revital Healthcare plans to expand its products by introducing a whole new line of other rapid diagnostic test kits including malaria, hepatitis, cancer, dengue, among others.
“We have identified about 15 RDT kits to manufacture. Within 15 minutes, one should be able to get the results of the tests done,” said Vora.
The firm hopes to partner with Kenya Airports Authority and other agencies in testing passengers coming into the country through airports and border points.
“We don’t want what is happening in India to occur in Kenya. We need to control our border points,” said Vora.