Treating Africa’s healthcare strains

Reem Leila , Saturday 3 Jun 2023

More than 1,000 healthcare experts will meet in Cairo to discuss ways to improve health services in Africa.

Treating Africa s healthcare strains
Health services in most African countries need upgrading


Under the theme “Your Gate to Innovation and Trade”, the second edition of Africa Health ExCon, a leading African conference and exhibition gathering of healthcare providers, will kick off under the patronage of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi. The conference takes place from 6-9 June. Egypt hosted the first edition last year.

The conference will bring together healthcare providers, offering them an opportunity to explore the latest trends in various sectors, including medical supplies and equipment, pharmaceuticals, plant consumables and chemicals, dental supplies, dermal products, nutrition, vitamins, healthcare, feeding industries, and packaging.

The presidential opening will be on the first day while the exhibition and conferences will be from 7-9 June at Egypt International Exhibition Centre (EIEC), Al-Manara International Conference. A total of 1,044 experts including 315 speakers from abroad will be attending.

During the four-day event, the sessions will review the progress achieved by Africa in manufacturing vaccines and therapies, as well as state-of-art medical technologies to promote African women’s health.

Furthermore, the event will showcase the Egyptian Genome Reference (EgyptRef) which is used extensively in medical research to detect variations related to disease.

The second edition of Africa Health ExCon will review strengthening Egypt-Africa cooperation to promote healthcare quality. Africa Health ExCon will offer educational opportunities through sessions, scientific lectures, training sessions and workshops, addressing the most common topics.

Bahaaeddin Zidan, chairman of the Egyptian Authority  for Unified Procurement (UPA) emphasised the importance of Africa Health ExCon in fostering a unified vision for the healthcare sector in Africa, while bringing an opportunity to exchange expertise and knowledge in healthcare. Hence, major global medical companies keenly look forward to taking part in the event to explore the available investment and trade opportunities in Africa’s healthcare sector.

“Egypt pursues experience exchanging and carrying out joint investments with all the neighbouring African countries to establish an unflappable healthcare system to address epidemiological outbreaks and chronic diseases,” Zidan said.

Zidan expected that the second edition of Africa Health ExCon would bring together more than 60,000 attendees and delegates from over 100 countries. He believes the event would help in exploring the investment opportunities since most of the African countries are still in the recovery phase of Covid-19 and the repercussions of tropical and infectious diseases. Additionally, they will explore ways of strengthening intra-African cooperation to enable access to the essential healthcare services, pharmaceuticals and vaccines to the African countries.

Tamer Essam, chairman of the Egyptian Drug Authority, noted that Africa Health ExCon is considered a major opportunity for Egyptian drug producers as the African market brings an attractive investment edge regarding pharmaceuticals, care services and medical supplies of all types.

He added that the second edition of Africa Health ExCon would outline the milestones that have been turned into realities since the success of the first edition in identifying the necessities of reforming and upgrading the healthcare system in Africa. Such events, according to Essam, contribute to setting a unified vision and coordinating effective dialogue for experience exchanging, as well as supporting innovation and scientific research in both health and pharmaceutical sectors. This is in addition to stimulating intra-African trade of essential products of pharmaceutical industries and medical supplies.

In the same context, Ahmed Al-Sobki, chairman of the General Authority for Healthcare and assistant minister of health and population, referred to the challenges facing Africa with regard to overpopulation, poverty, lack of education, and political instability, which, he said, led to turbulence in managing the healthcare system in Africa.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 1 June, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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