Long-term success in the health sector in Africa comes down to more than just selling or manufacturing products on the continent. The international developer team at B. Braun, a medical technology company based in Melsungen, know first-hand how important it is to establish sustainable structures in Africa. For example, the firm invests in specialist staff who can operate and maintain dialysis machines and other equipment. ‘The potential that exists in African countries can only be harnessed fully if local health structures are strengthened and skilled workers receive training,’ says Kerstin Heimel-Ventura, Director of International Development at B. Braun.
As part of develoPPP, a programme run by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the company therefore implements training measures for dialysis treatment specialists together with DEG Impulse. B. Braun joined forces with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Siemens Healthineers, Karl Storz, Sysmex Europe and Drägerwerke to set up a Bachelor’s degree course in applied medical technology in Senegal and Kenya. Furthermore, in April 2023, a programme was launched in cooperation with GIZ and Sysmex, Delft Imaging and Area9 Lyceum to establish a similar degree course in Ghana.
For B. Braun, the benefits of cooperation between the private sector and policy-makers are clear. Thanks to GIZ’s expertise and contacts, the measures can be mainstreamed sustainably within the local structures of the educational institutions and professional associations.
‘Particularly with dialysis treatment, we are seeing how significant the shortage of skilled workers is, in terms of both quantity and quality,’ says Shuang Zhang, Sales Manager for Africa at B. Braun. He explains that the installation of dialysis stations and other medical technology therefore needs to go hand in hand with training initiatives.
‘At B. Braun, we’ve made it our mission to protect and improve people’s lives,’ adds Kerstin Heimel-Ventura. She clarifies that the goal is to overcome inequalities in access to health care and improve daily life for underserved patient groups around the world.
You can read more about this topic in a recent interview with Kerstin Heimel-Ventura and Shuang Zhang conducted by the Agency for Business and Economic Development (AWE).
Further information about B. Braun’s work in Africa is available here.