Head of molecular applications lab at Kavi Institute of Clinical Research at Kenyatta National Hospital, Lucy Macharia, shows a hybrid capture system machine for cervical cancer screening. PHOTO | FILE
US cancer equipment vendor banks on Kenya bulk purchases
By JOHN GACHIRI
- Guided Therapeutics is looking to sell cervical, lung and oesophageal cancer screening equipment to the government this financial year.
The company’s management is looking to sell cervical, lung and oesophageal cancer screening equipment to the government this financial year.
“In Kenya, we are waiting for a tender from the government and could see that country becoming one of our largest markets in 2015. While many of these government opportunities have taken longer than originally anticipated, we do not believe any business has been lost, only pushed out,” said Guided Therapeutics chief executive Gene Cartwright in a statement.
Guided Therapeutics annual report shows in 2014 it sold equipment worth Sh70 million only. The healthcare manufacturer said Nigeria is the other market it is looking to enter.
The firm did not indicate the size of the tender from the health ministry but the docket in February set aside Sh38 billion through the Managed Equipment Services (MES) project for companies to supply and maintain equipment.
Two hospitals in every county will be provided with theatre, surgical and sterilisation, laboratory, kidney, ultrasound, imaging and ICU, X-ray, dialysis and ICU facilities under the MES project which is expected to reduce maintenance costs for the government.
“The MES project is a very positive and important one. The government has structured it well by including maintenance and repair in a 10-year tender, rather than buying machines that just break down one year later. The list of suppliers seems strong and the equipment chosen is important,” Penda Health co-founder Nicholas Sowden told the Business Daily.
General Electric, Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics and Megascope Healthcare are some of the other firms participating in the Sh38 billion MES project.
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics and Megascope Healthcare announced early February that it had bid and won a tender to supply operating equipment worth $1.15 million (Sh103.3 million) for August delivery.
The two firms expect to scale up deliveries to $45 million (Sh4.15 billion) over the next seven years and train 96 local biomedical engineers in China where Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics is based.
Mr Sowden said the MES project has to go hand-in-hand with training local personnel if it is to become effective.