Current Market Trends
Population: 46 Million
GDP*: 60 Billion (USD)
Currency: Shilling (Kshs)
Language: English, Swahili
Kenya’s healthcare market is one of the fastest growing in the African continent and is expected to register a strong double-digit growth through 2014-2018. Kenya is currently the largest producer of pharmaceutical products in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region, supplying about 50% of the regions’ market. Out of the region’s estimated of 50 recognized pharmaceutical manufacturers; approximately 30 are based in Kenya.
With the rising population, now at 45 million people, Kenya’s health system is struggling to cope with the rising costs and demand for quality health care services, coupled against the backdrop of a shortage of skilled health care professionals. There is a compelling need to devise ways and means of closing the gap between the National vision and reality. Devolution of healthcare services is one of the approaches that have been used in both developing and developed countries to achieve service delivery to all citizenry. Kenya began her healthcare devolution journey in 2010, after an overwhelming vote by citizens for a new form of government, for change, and for accountability. There is also need for an e-Health strategy for closing this gap by harnessing ICT for improved healthcare delivery in addition to other ongoing efforts
The Kenyan healthcare market relies almost entirely on imports of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, dental products, laboratory equipment, healthcare IT, clinical chemistry, and diagnostics. Kenya is the key logistical conduit into East Africa and many foreign suppliers operating here do business under their own name to manage penetration into the larger, regional market. Success on the Kenyan market requires that a local presence is established as well as after-sales support via a local representative, for example an agent or distributor, or a joint venture partner or franchisee.
U.S. healthcare suppliers are in an excellent position to increase their market share in Kenya due to U.S. technical competitiveness in assuring quality and reliability of U.S. healthcare products although price is occasionally an issue. Leading private sector hospitals are very active in modernizing their medical equipment inventories, while public sector hospitals are constantly re-equipping with improved budgetary allocations. Additionally, the passage of a new constitution in August 2010 established 47 county governments, each of which is responsible for providing health facilities and services. These county governments receive at least 15 per cent of their annual funding from the central government and a large portion of this funding is being used to re-equip county health facilities through. In a bid to upgrade healthcare infrastructure and modernize equipment, the Managed Equipment Services project was launched and will ensure that every County in Kenya has two hospitals fully equipped with the state of the art health care facilities. A leading U.S. healthcare firm has been contracted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to support the program.
Major suppliers of healthcare products include India, China, United States, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Belgium, South Africa, Italy, and Japan. Leading medical companies that sell products in Kenya include: GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Sanofi Aventis, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Philips, Siemens, Novartis, Abbot, GE Medical, Becton Dickinson, Drager, and Welch Allyn among others. A German pharmaceutical firm recently announced plans to enter the Kenyan market targeting health facilities and medical staff with its range of disinfectants.
The disease burden as a result of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, which together account for almost 50 percent of all deaths in the country, have received the most attention, with the government and donors focusing on prevention, treatment, and eradication efforts. While infectious diseases continue to be a burden to the Kenyan healthcare system, the incidence of non-infectious diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure are on the rise.
Past government tenders for medical equipment indicate requirements for basic equipment such as anesthetic machines, anesthetic trolleys, hydraulic operating tables, delivery beds, infant incubators, mortuary trolleys, hydraulic operating tables, mercurial sphygmomanometers, and oxygen flow meters among others. Best prospects for electro-medical devices include: CT scanners, ultrasound units, X-ray equipment, mammography units, MRI equipment, angiography, endoscopy, and biochemistry, hematology, and immunology systems. Best prospects for clinical chemistry and diagnostics are in serology/hematology, immunochemistry, urinalysis, electrolytes analysis, diabetes testing and cardiac markers while those for pharmaceuticals are in affordable patented and generic drugs used to manage HIV/AIDS and associated opportunistic infections, malaria, cancer, diabetes and hypertension. Used and refurbished medical devices have an open market in Kenya so long as they conform to national standards
The Ministry of Health (MoH), is the lead healthcare policy-setting government institution in Kenya. The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB), an agency under the Ministry of Medical Services, regulates the registration of medical devices. Medical equipment public procurements are done by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA), a state corporation and a specialized medical logistics provider for the Ministries of Medical Services and Public Health and Sanitation. Established in 2000, KEMSA works to support the National Health Strategic Plan and the Kenya Health Package for Health in providing public health facilities with the “right quantity and quality of drugs and medical supplies at the best market value
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) regulates the practice of pharmacy and the manufacture and trade in pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Kenya. To register a pharmaceutical product or medical device please visit: http://www.pharmacyboardkenya.org . Diagnostic kits and reagents that specifically test for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis) are required to be evaluated by the National Public Health Laboratories to ascertain the quality and reliability of these products. Product evaluations typically involve 400 tests at a cost of about $1000.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) implemented the Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) program, a conformity assessment and verification procedure applied to specific “Import Regulated Products” from exporting countries to ensure their compliance with the applicable Kenyan technical regulations and mandatory standards or approved equivalents (international standards and national standards). KEBS requires that all consignments of regulated products entering Kenya must obtain a Certificate of Conformity issued by an appointed PVoC country agent, a mandatory customs clearance document in Kenya; consignments of regulated products arriving at Kenyan Customs points of entry without this document will be subject to delays and possibly denial of admission into Kenya.
Funding still remains a crucial element to healthcare in Kenya with the Kenya government’s heavy reliance on outside donors to supplement its national health budget. The long tendering process and a lack of transparency in public procurement remains a challenge for companies..
Kenya Medex 2016
September, 21 – 23, 2016
Medic East Africa
September, 27 – 29, 2016
November, 8 – 10, 2016
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information:
Name: Janet Mwangi
Position: Commercial Specialist
Phone: +254 (20) 363-6725
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