- MOL, a global marine logistics company that is well experienced in distribution of medical products globally
- Chief executive officer Koichi Yashima said such products and medical devices require strict quality
A Kenyan manufacturer has invested Sh500 million to set up one of Africa’s largest medical products assembly and distribution plant.
The company, Revital Healthcare, which came into the limelight for innovating single-use syringes for Covid-19 vaccination in 2020, will establish the plant in Kilifi.
It made the announcement when its directors signed an MoU for the distribution of the product with Japanese logistics firm Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).
“This is going to be Africa's largest health care kit assembly facility. And this essentially will enable us as Revital Healthcare, and the numerous companies that are within the African continent, to supply essential medical devices, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, at the record-breaking time,” Revital Healthcare director Roneek Vora said.
“We want to ensure that Africa as a continent is self-reliant, and self-sustainable. We will ensure that any continent which requires access to medicines or pharmaceuticals, we will be there, ready to supply.”
The company, established in 2008, currently makes at least 58 medical devices.
Outsourcing of assembly and distribution of healthcare products is common in Europe, where manufacturers want to save time and money to focus on the core aspects of business.
Assemblers receive separate parts from manufacturers and handle the assembly process. They then package the final products, store them and then distribute them as per instructions.
MOL, a global marine logistics company that is well experienced in distribution of medical products globally, will handle the shipping logistics of parts and final products
Chief executive officer Koichi Yashima said such products and medical devices require strict quality/temperature control and thorough security measures.
Chemical product cargoes also require specialised import and export procedures to determine whether they contain substances harmful to humans, plants, animals, or the environment and whether they should be categorised as hazardous goods.
“I am so happy to sign an MoU with Revital. We'll do our best to support their logistics areas as soon as possible. I promise to keep a good relationship. Our vision is to create a space for happiness,” he said.
Revital chairman Rajni Vora said President William Ruto supports the local pharmaceutical industry, which can now supply directly to the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.
“The products that we manufacture are exported to global bodies such as Unicef. What we are looking at is how we can also do a special kitting business, which has been done in Denmark, Dubai, Austria, and Netherlands,” he said.
He said local assembly is one of the first steps to promote manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Africa.
“Mol is going to partner with us in the logistics business we are doing for the kitting of pharmaceuticals. They have shown a lot of interest, the president of the company, all the way from Japan, has come here to just see Revital and meet us and do an investment with us,” Rajni said.
The company is already the biggest syringe maker in Kenya.
In October, it received nearly $4 million (Sh593 million) grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce more than 300 million units of auto-disable syringes annually.
The firm has already achieved WHO prequalification and is in the final stages of establishing a new manufacturing line in Kilifi, to enable them hit the targeted 300 million syringes per year.
Head of international business development Harsh Mehta in October told The Star they have employed 650 workers, of the number, 80 per cent are women and 18 are persons with disability.
Mehta said $2.2 million is meant to expand rapid diagnostic test kit manufacturing to 240 million rapid test kits annually.
“This will make Revital Healthcare the largest manufacturer of rapid diagnostic kits on the continent, able to serve almost a quarter of the subsaharan African population,” he said.
Mehta said production of the rapid diagnostic kits will begin in January 2024.