• Revital Healthcare EPZ is the largest manufacturer of medical devices in Africa and produces 48 different medical products.
• However, the Government of Kenya buys less than five of the products, despite being certified by WHO.
A medical equipment manufacturer in Kilifi County has welcomed Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria's pronouncement that government should buy more local products to promote the local economy.
This follows Investments, Trade and Industry CS Moses Kuria's visit to Revital Healthcare factory in Kilifi county on Tuesday last week.
Kuria assured the company that Kenya was open for business and the government will work with Revital Healthcare EPZ to explore opportunities that will come from the African Continental Free Trade Area and AGOA markets.
“We have agreed to work together to ensure that their products get into the Kenyan market which is not the case despite exporting to 21 African countries,” he said in a tweet.
Revital Healthcare EPZ is the largest manufacturer of medical devices in Africa and produces 48 different medical products, including the world’s first Bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (Vayu bCPAP) System that does not require electricity.
However, the Government of Kenya buys less than five of the products, despite being certified by WHO.
The company also exports the devices to 28 countries across the globe including the US, India and Ukraine, and 19 African countries, including neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania, which buy at least 10 products from Revital Healthcare EPZ.
According to the company's director of sales and marketing Roneek Vora, the EPZ manufactures the 0.5ml syringes, used in immunization of babies and later for Covid-19 immunization, but the previous administration imported the same.
“When malaria vaccine is going to be used later this year, the same syringe is going to be used. If we sell 118 million pieces of the syringes to the entire world but not in Kenya, that shows there is a red flag,” he told the Star.
Vora said Kenyan manufacturers are facing a myriad of challenges that they cannot voice.
“I am talking about a group of manufacturers in Kenya who are facing these issues on a day-to-day basis but they are not allowed or able to voice them,” he said.
“I would like a meeting with the President so that I explain to him where he can come in and help us as local manufacturers to promote and boost localization."
However, with assurance from CS Kuria, Vora says that there hope that the government will embrace use of most locally produced devices.
During the launch of the KAM Changamka Shopping Festival in November last year, the CS said it was important to support the local manufacturing sector since it contributes to tax revenue growth, job creation, and also increases exports.
He added that local manufacturing supports various value chains, including Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
“Kenyan manufacturers need to increase their focus on enhancing value addition and by doing so, we shall be able to be a more self-reliant nation, source raw materials locally as well as competitively produce goods and services for the local and global market,” Kuria said.