Global medical devices maker B. Braun Medical Inc. plans to build a manufacturing plant in Kenya to serve the local and regional market.
B. Braun currently imports its products from Germany through its marketing office in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
Company’s local managing director Samuel Muchiri said the site of the plant would be identified within two years.
Local plan is expected to lower the price of the devices, including dialysis machines, neurosurgery technology, infusion pumps and syringes, making them competitive in the East African market.
“We have an operating office in Nairobi’s Upperhill and in two years we would have picked on a viable location to set up the manufacturing plant,” said Mr Muchiri.
“The various factors we are currently studying like electricity (and other forms of energy), adequate land for expansion, will determine the capital expenditure.”
B. Braun chairman Heinz-Walter Grobe said the firm has identified opportunities to penetrate new markets in Kenya.
“Many associate the continent with horrifying messages of epidemics such as Ebola but Africa has many faces and a fair number might surprise you. This offers our company great potential of serving Kenya and her neighbours right under her nose,” he said.
Director of medical services Nicholas Muraguri said Braun’s plans to invest in Kenya is a welcome because the government is also working to improve the healthcare system.
He said the government, under the Sh38 billion Medical Equipment Service would by June next year have set up 49 dialysis centres and 11 intensive care units in the 47 counties.
“Producing locally will create jobs and also cut shipment costs of drugs and equipment from abroad,” said Mr Muraguri.
“We are also scaling up the healthcare system to provide tailor made services for the benefit of citizens across all levels of society, more so in the slums,” he said.