BY AMBROSE GAHENE
East African Medical Vitals (EAMV), a state of the art manufacturing plant in Uganda’s Namanve industrial park, the only surgical gloves factory in Africa and the only glove manufacturing plant in East and Central Africa hosted the Health Minister Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng and other health officials on October 1, 2021.
Led by EAMV Chairman, Ben Kavuya, the guests were given a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facility. They witnessed first-hand production of the gloves, manufactured in both surgical and examination variants, and saw the extensive testing, packaging, and waste management facilities in place.
The initiative to construct and bring into operation this manufacturing plant was borne by the need, as is seen in healthcare systems all over the African continent, to stop the unnecessary and preventable injury and death many African people suffer simply because something as basic as a pair of gloves was not available.
EAMV initially started production with the Surgical Gloves and Examination Gloves, and subsequently added syringes, catheters, and condoms to the portfolio. From the small clinic to the large referral hospital, EAMV will ably supply consumables for all healthcare facilities, thereby boosting the continent’s medical care capacity, saving the lives of loved ones and improving the skills and work environments of health staff, according to EAMV officials.
“The EAMV gloves are of the highest standard: latex, non-sterile, powder-free, hand-specific, and in a variety of sizes, they guarantee a perfect, comfortable fit and ensure that both the medical personnel and the patients in their care are safe and secure. They possess high tensile properties and will withstand extensive use during lengthy medical procedures”, said Mr Kavuya. He said current production of surgical gloves stands at 5000 pairs per hour, and the factory runs 24 hours a day.
“This capacity is to be doubled by the end of this Financial Year. Even then, East African Medical Vitals is supplying both the Government of Uganda and private health service providers, with sufficient volumes also being exported. We are here to take care of those basics and we have the capacity to do so”, he added.
Plans are already underway for EAMV to expand on its range of medical consumables. By 2023, it will be producing condoms and with time, is to add catheters and syringes amongst others.
Among other guests that toured the plant included; Dr. Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, alongside Commissioners Dr. Charles Olaro (Curative Services), Dr. Jackson Amone (Clinical Services) and Dr. Neville Okuma (Pharmaceutical & Natural Medicine), and Dr. David Nahamya, Secretary to the National Drug Authority (NDA).
EAMV’s target markets include Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo, and South Sudan among others. The company has an off-take agreement with Uganda’s Ministry of Health to provide Government health facilities with select medical consumables through the National Medical Stores.