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Korean biomedical firms seek to boost Kenya's healthcare sector

Health & Science
 

From left: Cleopa Otieno of Kenya Flying Labs, KOTRA Deputy MD, Unjeong KO and Team Leader Mr. Matundura Gesora at the Korea Biomedical Symposium in Nairobi. [Gerard Nyele, Standard]

Kenya’s healthcare sector is set to benefit from improved access to advanced medical technologies and innovations, thanks to a symposium that brought together Korean biomedical firms and local stakeholders.

The symposium, hosted last week by the Nairobi Trade Centre of Korea-Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), aimed to foster partnerships, showcase the latest Korean breakthroughs, and explore opportunities for collaboration and investment in the field of medicine.

The event featured special Korean biomedical firms that expressed strong interest in collaborating with the Kenyan community.

Among the organisations represented were GeneAll Biotechnology, Narma Inc and Microbiology East Africa Limited.

 The firms have developed cutting-edge solutions for various health challenges, such as nucleic acid extraction, cargo delivery drones, and infectious disease diagnosis.

Matundra Gesora, Team Leader at the Nairobi Trade Centre of KOTRA, said that Africa’s health systems suffer from serious inefficiencies, such as disruptions in medical equipment and drug supply chains, last-mile health-services delivery, medical data analysis and storage, and financing.

 “The future of healthcare in Africa depends on innovation. The adoption of new technology can create opportunities to improve health literacy and access to care for all Africans.The pandemic was a catalyst for growth in health tech on the continent. Now entrepreneurs and the government must sustain the momentum,” he said.

One of the firms that showcased its innovation was Narma Inc, the first spin-off company of Korea Aerospace Research Institute. 

The company aims to develop world-class delivery drones and service platforms. Through its innovative product, the Narma AF200, an agile tilt motor drone platform for cargo delivery, the company has been providing last-mile emergency deliveries in Tharaka

Nithi and Makueni Counties by partnering with Kenya Flying Labs, a local drone operator in Kenya.

Another firm that participated in the symposium was GeneAll Biotechnology, which has developed nucleic acid extraction products based on its own technologies, which are used across the globe. The firm produces nearly 100 products for various samples, with a competitive advantage in low cost and fast processing capabilities. 

The availability of these products enables patients to be treated in county and sub-county hospitals rather than moving to the city seeking treatment for these diseases.

The symposium also highlighted the potential of Korean biomedical firms to contribute to the development of the healthcare sector in Kenya and Africa, as well as the opportunities for collaboration and investment. 

The platform also aimed to strengthen the bilateral relations between Kenya and Korea in the field of health and medicine.

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