A Dutch healthcare business delegation of about 20 companies visited Nairobi, Kenya from 18 to 21 April 2017, in search op partnerships and investmend opportunities in the Kenyan health sector. This three-day trade mission was meant to deepen knowledge and opportunities for Dutch companies in the life sciences & health sector in Kenya in line with the ”Aid to Trade” agenda of the Dutch government. Based on a market study by the Embassy , the Netherlands has identified the health sector in Kenya as a promising market for partnerships and business opportunities. The economic relations between the two are strong, the Netherlands being the third largest export destination of Kenyan products. In the health sector, the relations between the two countries goed back a long way.

Strengthened cooperation between public and private parties is crucial to achieve universal health care coverage and Sustainable Development Goals 3. The Dutch government is planning to support the Kenyan government by facilitating cooperation with the private sector regarding primary healthcare, in the framework of the SDG Platform set up by the UN in Kenya. According to the Euro Health Consumer Index, the Netherlands has the best healthcare system in Europe for the sevent year in a row.

The Kenyan healthcare sector is experiencing exiting times partly due to a growing population of the middle class which has caused a hugely increased demand for quality accessible healthcare services. However, Kenya’s health sector faces enormous deficiencies in coverag and infrastructure. I’s estimated that 32.5 million Kenyans lack any form of basic insurance and are treated in sub-standard facilities. The Dutch delegation consisted of health companies, ranging from, among others, expertise in hospital construction, medical devices, health financing solutions and training & education.

The Programme

On Wednesday 19 April, the programme started with a health seminar ”The business of Health in Kenya”: keynote address was delivered by the Cabinet Secretary of Health Dr. Cleopa Mailu and Dr. Erik Gerritsen, Vice Minister of Health, Welfare & Sports of the Netherlands. During the seminar, roundtable discussions and plenary sessions will take place on the following topics: training and education, health infrastructure (focusing on medical facilities and equipment), application of ICT in the healthcare  (eHealth) and healthcare financing and medical insurance. Subsequently, a business to business session was held between the Dutch business delegation and their Kenyan counterparts. On the same day, the Vice Minister hosted a luncheon at the Strathmore Business School where discussions on the theme ”Importance of the Private Healthcare sector in achieving public health goals” took place.

On Thursday 20 April, the visiting business delegation enjoyed a tour of a public level 5 hospital in Kiambu County followed by county-level healthcare panel discussion by health executives of Kiambu, Makueni, Kajiado and Machakos as panelist. Later, the delegation visited Gith Langa’ta health centre in Kiambu County for fact finding and sharing experiences. The day’s activities ended with a networking reception with the Kenyan health business community and the visiting delegation.

The last day of the visit, Friday 21 April, started with a breakfast meeting at the AMREF University in Nairobi hosted by TFHC Partner AMREF and UNFPA, among others. The discussions were focussed on the importance of working in partnership to scale up healthcare initiatives but also included elevator pitches of Kenyan start-ups as well as health speed dates.

In the afternoon, the business delegation visited Gertrudes Children Hospital, were, among others, TFHC Partner PharmAccess Foundation and its spin-off Carepay (in partnership with Safaricom) demonstrated the succesfull MTiba platform, a mobile health wallet. The event was culminated in the launch of a partnership between the National Hospital Insurance (NHIF) and PharmAccess to broaden the health cover targeting the bottom of the pyramid.

The final activity of the day was a visit to the Nairobi Hospital for a hospital tour and discussion with the management on areas of mutual business interest.

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Source: Dutch Embassy of Nairobi, Kenya.