Kenya Healthcare Federation celebrates its Heroes in the Pharmaceutical Industry

 The Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) today hosted an inaugural event that marks the start of annual celebrations and recognition of Health Sector Professionals who have had an outstanding contribution to and social impact in the Sector over the years. The heroes celebration event brought together various Health Sector players including, the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK). 

For the inaugural celebrations, Kenya Healthcare Foundation honoured Dr Vijai Maini, the outgoing Managing Director of Surgipharm Ltd.  Dr Vijai has been instrumental in the growth of the Pharmaceutical industry through Surgipharm Limited, a pharmaceutical distribution company he founded in 1985. He is also one of the founding members of KAPI.

Speaking at the event, KHF Chairperson Dr. Kanyeje Gakombe lauded Dr. Vijai for his resilience and strength over the years. He lauded Dr. Vijai for steering the company from inception to date.

“Surgipharm is part of a market that is stable, and it is assured of lonegvity. The drive and dream behind Surgipharm needs to continue being built in the years to come.” He further added that “The second transition for Kenya is an economic liberation, where as a nation, we will look at the transfaormation, growth and acceleration of Kenyan companies and brands.” He concluded by stating that “History bets remembers those who have most richly contributed to the wellbeing of others. And so it is with Vijai. We in the health sector under the auspices of KHF will continue to build on this rich legacy and foundation.”

Surgipharm, through its branches in Nairobi and Mombasa, is one of the largest and most efficient pharmaceutical and healthcare logistics firms in Kenya, accounting for 30% of the market share and with over 2,000 active customers. Surgipharm’s unparalleled distribution network has been instrumental in creating access to critical medicines and surgical products to patients and care providers.

Recalling the Surgipharm journey, Dr. Vijai mentioned that some of the challenges faced in the pharmaceutical industry included access to funding. He noted that whilst the industry under the guidance of KAPI and PSK has made tremendous progress, there still exists challenges in the industry.

“While I applaud KAPI and PSK for their support towards improving the industry, challenges such as counterfeight products, high import costs, rise in temperatures making effective medicine storage a challenge are some of the issues that the industry needs to find a solution to,” he said. He also called upon the members of the Pharmaceutical society to be registered as members of PSK.

In 2017, Dr Maini sold 70% of Surgipharm’s shares to Imperial Holdings, a transaction that accelerated the South African logistics group industry presence in Kenya as part of its African growth strategy. The move, which leverages Surigharm’s deep roots in Kenya and relationships with global pharmaceutical principals on the African continent, provides an excellent platform for Imperial’s future growth in other East African markets. 

Mr. Reiner Engelbretch, Executive VP Finance – Market Access Healthcare, for Imperial Logistics reitariated Imperial’s commitment to Kenya stating that the company remain committed to Kenya, which is a key market and regional hub for our “Getaway to Africa” strategy.

“Importantly, governments and stakeholders across the continent, including here in Kenya, understand the imperative of improving healthcare and promoting wellbeing for all, in line with the sustainable development goals,” he said.

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