• Asia Africa Investment and Consulting Pte Ltd (AAIC) and Ohara Pharmaceutical Company Ltd have jointly invested USD3 million into Revital Healthcare.
•The Kilifi-based manufacturer is one of 25 auto-disable syringe manufacturers pre-qualified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the only one in Africa.
Kilifi-based medical supply manufacturer, Revital Healthcare EPZ Ltd, has received a further injection of capital from two Japanese firms that will boost its production capacity.
Asia Africa Investment and Consulting Pte Ltd (AAIC) and Ohara Pharmaceutical Company Ltd have jointly invested USD3 million (approximately Sh339 million) into Revital Healthcare.
This will see means the Kilifi-based manufacturer, one of 25 auto-disable syringe manufacturers pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the only one in Africa enhance its production capacity from 75 million syringes to more than 400 million annually.
This follows another investment of Sh440 million into the firm from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which the firm’s sales, marketing and product development director Roneek Vora said will boost production to at least 300 million syringes a year from 2022.
Revital estimates that the support will lead to the creation of over 100 direct new jobs and over 5,000 indirect jobs out of which Revital has committed to ensuring that at least 50 per cent of new hires are women.
Global demand for auto-disable syringes has grown greatly as the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines progresses globally.
Recent estimates from PATH, a global non-profit organisation improving public health, projecst that there will be a shortage of over 2.2 billion units of the 0.5ml vaccine syringes in 2022.
This will acutely impact the Covid-19 vaccination drive, child immunisation along with inoculation of the new malaria vaccines, in low and middle-income countries, especially across Africa.
Currently, Revital manufactures 45 essential medical disposables ranging from syringes, Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits for Covid and Malaria, PPE kits, surgical face mask and viral transport medium kits.
The investment comes at a time when the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is fast spreading across the globe, prompting countries to re-introduce drastic measures like lockdowns to try and contain infection.
“Expanding manufacturing capacity in Africa for critical supplies such as syringes is essential to ensure adequate supply for the continent,” said Vora in a statement.
He said the firm is proud to be part of the global efforts to ensure Africans have access to life-saving vaccination syringes.
Revital Healthcare chairman Rajni Vora said with the investment from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AAIC and Ohara Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer intends to expand into the diagnostics line, laboratory consumables and other more essential medical supplies.
Ohara Pharmaceuticals Ltd President and CEO Seiji Ohara said the demand for medical syringes that protect African lives against not just Covid-19 but also other infectious diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS will amplify going forward.
“We are committed to, and are looking forward to this strategic partnership in tackling current and future global health crisis from Africa,” said Handa.