Sub-Saharan Africa not winning friends in the medical device market

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa ranks the least attractive region to commercialise medical devices because of the region’s poor operational environment and barriers to access healthcare, Fitch’s research arm BMI said in a recent report.

“Reflecting a range of systemic economic and political risks — ranging from security threats in Nigeria and Kenya, to lower commodity prices, pressurised aid flows and corruption — sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the lowest regional average country risk score,” BMI said.

Several sub-Saharan African markets came with significant regulatory and operational risks and did not allocate much towards health expenditure, making them less attractive, the report said.

While the region had shown great potential with a growing middle class, most of the combined 300-million strong population were poor, while healthcare resources remained inadequate. The report said risks were high in the region because the regulatory framework was underdeveloped and few people could afford health insurance, which meant “reimbursement is also low”.

BMI Research medical device analyst Ethel Kuntambila said although African markets were responsive to investment in medical equipment, the region’s poor operational environment and poor access to healthcare gave the region poor rankings in comparison to other regions.

Source: Business Live (link opens in a new window)

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