An Indian pharmacist pulls out a box of medicines from a shelf at a Generic Drug Store at the Victoria Hospital in BangaloreImage source, Getty Images
Image caption, India is the world's biggest supplier of generic pharmaceuticals

Peter Mativo traveled overseas to finish his training.

He moved to Bangalore in order to become a neurologist. He went to India for 18 months and returned to work at the Aga Khan University hospital.

Most of us train in India. He says that we have a poor economy with no medical infrastructure in place.

If I hadn't chosen India, I wouldn't have been able to get a specialized degree.

India wants to strengthen its relationship with Africa. The healthcare sector is one of the areas where trade can flourish.

Young African doctors are encouraged to finish their training in India while Indian healthcare firms are expanding all over Africa.

Dr Peter MativoImage source, Peter Mativo
Image caption, Dr Mativo had to travel from Kenya to Banaglore to finish his medical training

India is the largest provider of generic medicine in the world and the African market is a good fit for the company.

Generic drugs made in India can sell at a quarter of the price of branded equivalents, which makes them a popular choice in less well off parts of the world.

There is a big gap between demand and supply of medicine in Africa.

Goodstrain pharma was set up in 2020 because of a shortage of medicine and equipment during the Covid crisis. Medicine and medical products from all over the world are imported into the country.

Goodstrain's warehouse and corporate offices are in the capital of the country.

"Africa is the only pharmaceutical market where high growth is still possible," says Mr. Dubey, who was born in northern India.

It has been difficult to get a firm going in Africa. Goodstrain's first shipment was held up at customs for weeks, a major blow to the firm.

They weren't ready for the regulations on imports. A third party is handling that for them.

A medical officer is seen preparing to administer a covid-19 vaccine jab to a man at The Nakuru County Referral and Teaching Hospital. In May 2022Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, In Kenya there was an acute shortage of medical supplies during the pandemic

Goodstrain was one step further than Africure Pharmaceuticals.

The company has nine manufacturing facilities in Africa with plans to build two more in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.

A wide range of antibiotics and medications are made by the factories of Africure.

Africa has been dependent on imports of medication from Europe, India, and China, which has resulted in the draining of precious foreign exchange, non-creation of job opportunities, and suffering of supply and demand.

Mr Noronha was originally from Mumbai and hopes his firm will help tackle some of the problems in Africa.

Affordability, availability, low quality, technological dependence, and reliance on imports are some of the persistent issues.

All of our plants and distribution setup are focused on providing a constant supply of essential medicines.

Goodstrain Pharma warehouseImage source, Goodstrain Pharma
Image caption, Goodstrain Pharma imports medicine and medical products into Kenya

According to Mr. Noronha, Indian firms have a head start over their competitors.

Our large diaspora presence in Africa helps Indian manufacturers understand the African market.

Mr Noronha has found it difficult to build a business in Africa.

Political instability is the greatest challenge. I may be given the go-ahead today to set up a manufacturing unit, and tomorrow the government or the health minister may be forced to resign. He says that one has to be prepared for anything.

Personal safety is one of the considerations.

Security is one of the biggest concerns in Africa. He says that Indians need to be very careful.

Indian healthcare firms have a good reputation in Africa, but their image has recently been damaged.

Media caption,

There are deaths and cough syrup in the country.

The deaths of 66 children have been linked to four brands of cough syrup.

In October, the World Health Organization issued a global alert over the cough syrups, saying they could be linked to injuries and deaths.

The director general of Pharmexcil, which promotes the export of Indian pharmaceuticals, feels bad about the incident in the country.

The image of Indian pharma will be adversely affected by this incident.

He thinks the damage will be short lived.

The impact on Africa will be short-term because Africa is very dependent on other countries and India is good at medicine.

There is a lack of testing facilities in Africa.

It is sad. We don't have the financial strength to check the standards of medicine we get.

He wants to see more local products.

Most of the population in Africa can't afford branded medicine.

  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • India