Leading logistics provider, DHL, recently gathered over 125 healthcare professionals and logistics experts under one roof to discuss ‘Delivering Healthcare to Africa’ at its 6th annual Regional Life Sciences & Healthcare conference in Pretoria.

The conference focused on life sciences and healthcare supply chains to support African growth in the sector, with Africa highlighted as a market with a positive growth trend in healthcare.

According to Deloitte, the sub-Saharan region as a whole is on a positive growth trend although growth rates vary considerably from as low as 1.52% in South Africa to as high as 9.94% in Ethiopia. Growth in healthcare spend across Africa is forecasted at around 3% until 2020, with the top 15 countries with the exception of Gabon currently spending over $1 billion US per annum on health.

In his opening speech, Vice President EMEA, DHL Life Sciences & Healthcare, Thomas Ellmann, said Africa has positive growth potential in the healthcare sector, but continuous investment in capabilities, quality and innovation are needed to operate successfully across the continent.

Africa is considered the final frontier in the delivery of healthcare services and there are a number of service delivery challenges to be overcome. According to Ellmann, companies in the sector have quality and process standards high on their list of requirements, in addition to visibility and control throughout the supply chain, from the point of manufacture to the end customer.

“We wanted to address the requirements of the life sciences and healthcare industry at the conference with leading companies and experts in the sector, and discuss how the industry can adopt the best supply chain strategies to capitalise on Africa’s growth potential,” said Ellmann.

“We have been in Africa for 38 years and have established ourselves as the market leaders. Africa is home to one of the fastest-growing middle classes and access to healthcare products and services is critical,” said CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, Hennie Heymans.

“We have also set up Express Logistics Centres and capabilities in 21 countries across sub-Saharan Africa providing the ideal locations for short-term stock holding and the distribution of medical device and diagnostics equipment, electronics and spare parts, with further investment envisioned in this area,” continued Heymans.

DHL serves customers globally and provides industry-leading capabilities, including time-definite international (TDI) express network covering 220 countries and territories, life sciences-qualified DHL Medical Express services in over 70 countries that enable global access to healthcare through continuous investments in skills, scale and solutions that adapt to ever-changing needs.

For more information contact news@eHealthNews.co.za, like us on Facebook or tweet us @eHealthNewsZA.