By Fredrick P. W. Gaye
It is now apparent that African governments and health systems must do more to prepare for extreme health crises. The enormous amount of developmental aid pouring into Africa in recent years combined with dramatic health care gaps is focusing more attention on quality and sustainable improvements to health systems.
To assist in addressing this, Mindray Medical International Limited has intensified advanced medical technologies in Africa by supplying modern medical equipment and training health workers in medical technologies.
Mindray is China’s largest medical equipment manufacturer, developing, manufacturing, and marketing a variety of medical devices, equipment and accessories for both human and veterinary use.
From its main manufacturing and engineering base in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province in south China, Mindray supplies through its worldwide distribution network a broad range of products across three primary business segments, namely patient monitoring and life support, in-vitro diagnostic, and medical imaging systems.
During our visit to the company headquarters in Shenzhen on September 9, 2016, we, 28 African journalists, were told that the company started extending its services to Africa 16 years ago, with the penetration of 51 countries.
Making PowerPoint presentations, officials of the company said Minday has installed more than 80 thousand healthcare products in Africa, with four service centers and three training centers while another service center is being processed. The four service centers are located in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt and the Morocco’s center is being processed.
Mindray’s vision is part of China’s increasing friendship with Africa, the officials said, adding that quality health must be part of the cooperation.
Besides, Mindray is in partnerships with many African medical universities, health institutions and other companies. In Liberia, Mindray is partnering with J. Singh Medical Laboratory in Monrovia to advance the modern medical technologies.
Jackie Singh of the J. Singh Medical Laboratory in Liberia, is among six Africans currently undergoing training at Mindray in Shenzhen.
In an interview, Singh commended Mindray for partnering with his company to introduce such an innovative medical venture he said will address medical challenges facing his country.
He urged Liberian government and healthcare institutions to embrace new technologies to improve the country’s health delivery system. Singh said the adoption of new technologies offer healthcare institutions the potential to address challenges related to rising costs, uneven quality and inadequate access.
“GOL [government of Liberia] should standardize all medical centers with these products. I believe when we embrace Mindray’s vision of medical technologies and training, our health system will be strengthened and there will no too much medical evacuation.” he said.
Singh said his company was established in 2009 and has been in partnership with Mindray, rendering medical laboratory services and equipment supplies in Liberia.
Eugen Wilson, an African staff at Mindray, has disclosed plans by the company to increase its presence in Liberia. In collaboration with the J. Singh Medical Laboratory, Wilson said they intend to extend the program to other organizations including the Ministry of Health in Liberia.
“We are thinking to carry out sensitization in Liberia starting the end of this year. Also we are thinking of inviting some Liberian engineers for training in our products,” Wilson, a Togolese, said.
According to Wilson, it is an opportunity for him to be employed at Mindray because he will assist in increasing the company’s investment volume in Africa.
Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, Mindray possesses a sound R&D, marketing and service network with 41 subsidiaries and branch offices in 31 countries in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific, as well as 32 branch offices in China.To date, Mindray has around 8200 employees around the world.
Fredrick P. W. Gaye is the News Editor of In Profile Daily Newspaper in Liberia and a fellow at the China Africa Press Center (CAPC). He can be reached by:firstname.lastname@example.org