Huge potential in Africa healthcare biz

Huge potential  in Africa healthcare biz

At the just concluded 10th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa project partnership, the High Commissioner of Nigeria, Ndubuisi Amaku, gave an interesting bit of information. He said Nigerians last year spent around $350 million to access healthcare in India.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meet, he said the amount was spent by just about one percent of the Nigerian population who could afford to pay for quality healthcare in India.

Amaku asked Indian entrepreneurs to consider investing in facilities in Nigeria to provide healthcare to patients who may find it difficult to travel to India due to the high airfare and other logistics issues.

The data furnished by the High Commissioner indicates the huge healthcare market that is waiting to be tapped by Indian healthcare providers and drug manufacturers.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the sub-Saharan region alone accounts for 11 per cent of the world’s population and yet bears 24 percent of the global disease burden, and commands less than one percent of global health expenditure.

The challenges African health systems face are poor infrastructure, inadequate government funding, shortage of healthcare workers and lack of capacity in existing staff leading to morbidity and mortality from treatable conditions.

An IMS Health report titled “Africa: A ripe opportunity,” reveals that by 2020, the market could represent a $45 billion opportunity for drug makers, spurred in part by robust economic growth and demographic changes.

The International Finance Corporation in a recent report said the healthcare industry is set for huge growth, as Sub-Saharan Africa’s market, including Nigeria, is estimated to touch $35 billion by 2016.

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