A Kilifi based medical equipment manufacturing company has won a contract to supply medical equipment to the neighbouring Tanzania.
Revital Healthcare EPZ Ltd has received an order of 11 million Covid-19 vaccine syringes from Tanzania, which has ordered the 2ml, 5ml and 10ml vaccine syringes.
This follows the improved relationship between Kenya and Tanzania after President Samia Suluhu took over leadership in March this year.
The company, however, says the government needs to render more support to Kenyan enterprises investing abroad.
Kenya buys only two of the 42 products the medical firm manufactures, yet Tanzania buys 11, while Uganda buys 12.
Revital Healthcare sales and market product development director Roneek Vora said the Tanzanian market is now opening up, since Suluhu’s official state visit to Kenya in May.
“The Tanzanian market is now opening up. We have started to get a lot of enquiries for the Covid-19 test kits that we manufacture,” said Vora.
During former late president John Pombe Magufuli’s reign, Tanzania did not take action against the Covid-19 pandemic, insisting the contagion was an exaggeration and did not merit the global attention it got.
While other countries imposed strict protocols against the virus, including lockdowns and restrictions of movement, Tanzania conducted business as usual, with no requirement to wear face masks.
Things changed once Suluhu was sworn in as president and now Tanzania is taking more steps to combat the pandemic, much to the benefit of the Kenya firm.
“We had a meeting with one of my suppliers in Tanzania who is now interested in placing 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.
Vora disclosed that the firm has a capacity of producing 80,000 test kits in 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 flagged off two shipments of two million pieces of 1ml conventional vaccine syringes to three European countries including Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
KAJ Medical is the firm that contracted Revital Healthcare for the products.
“This is the first time in history, for the country and specifically Revital to export vaccine syringes to Europe,” said Vora.
The Kilifi firm has also exported the syringes to other African countries including Uganda, Malawi, Eritrea and DRC among others.
“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 alone,” said Vora.
He said about four million of the vaccine syringes have so far been delivered to Uganda.
“This month, we have done supplies for 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 centers around the world,” said Vora.
He said the PPE kits they produce are ETO (Ethylene Oxide)-sterilized, which ensures that 100 per cent of the bacteria is killed.
Most of the health workers who contract Covid-19 in the line of duty do so because of poor quality PPEs, Vora noted.
“My PPE kits come with gloves, shoe cover, medical grade goggles, a free bottle of hand sanitizer, a KN95 mask and a bouffant nurse’s disposable cap. Everything in the PPE kit is ETO sterilized,” he said.
The sales director said he hopes Kenya will buy more products from the local firms in the spirit of ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’.
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 results of the tests done,” said Vora.
The firm then hopes to partner with Kenya Airports Authority and other agencies so as to test any passenger coming into the country through the border points.
“We don’t want what is happening in India to occur in Kenya. We need to control our border points,” said Vora.
By Hussein Abdullahi