The Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) has initiated the heroes’ annual event that will see health sector professionals celebrated and recognized for their outstanding contribution and social impact in the sector.
The inaugural event hosted by the Kenya Health Federation that brought together various health sector players among them the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) honoured Dr Vijai Maini, the outgoing Managing Director of Surgipharm Ltd.
Dr Vijai who is also one of the founding members of KAPI, has been instrumental in the growth of the Pharmaceutical industry through Surgipharm Limited, a pharmaceutical distribution company he founded in 1985.
Surgipharm, through its branches in Nairobi and Mombasa, is one of the largest and most efficient pharmaceutical and healthcare logistics firms in Kenya, accounting for 30 percent of the market share and with over 2,000 active customers.
Speaking at the celebrations held at a Nairobi hotel, KHF Chairperson, Dr Kanyeje Gakombe, lauded Dr Maini for his resilience and strength in steering the company from inception to date and his enormous contribution at KAPI.
“Surgipharm is part of a market that is stable, and it is assured of longevity. The drive and dream behind Surgipharm needs to continue being built in the years to come,” said Gakombe, and assured that the health sector under the auspices of KHF will continue to build on the rich legacy and foundation.
He added, “The second transition for Kenya is an economic liberation, where as a nation, we will look at the transformation, growth and acceleration of Kenyan companies and brands.”
Surgipharm’s distribution network has been instrumental in creating access to critical medicines and surgical products to patients and care providers.
In his speech, Dr Maini cited access to funding among others as one of the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry.
“While I laud KAPI and PSK for their support towards improving the industry, challenges such as counterfeit products, high import costs, rise in temperatures making effective medicine storage a challenge are some of the issues that the industry needs to find a solution to,” he said.
He also called upon the members of the Pharmaceutical Society to be registered as members of PSK.
In 2017, Dr Maini sold 70 percent of Surgipharm’s shares to Imperial Holdings, a transaction that accelerated the South African logistics group industry presence in Kenya as part of its African growth strategy.
The move, leverages Surigharm’s deep roots in Kenya and relationships with global pharmaceutical principals on the African continent, thereby providing a platform for Imperial’s future growth in other East African markets.
In his remarks, Mr Reiner Engelbretch, Executive VP, Finance-Market Access Healthcare Imperial’s Holdings, assured of the company’s commitment to Kenya, which he noted is a key market, regional hub and their getaway to Africa.
By Bernadette Khaduli