Roche, a Swiss multinational healthcare company, has announced its 10-year Africa strategy aimed at increasing access to diagnostics by a factor of 10 in the next decade. This strategy includes expanding its diagnostics legal presence in Kenya, with the aim of creating an environment based on strong partnerships that will speed up the country’s health agenda towards increased access to reliable diagnostics.
According to a report by Biomedical Central, about 19% of the population in Low-to-Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) have access to basic diagnostic testing, excluding malaria and HIV testing kits. By contrast, access to diagnostics testing in high-income countries is approximately 49% in primary care and 68% in hospitals. These statistics highlight significant gaps in diagnostics, particularly in primary care facilities.
The Roche strategy focuses on driving investments and strategic partnerships across the healthcare ecosystem, working directly with African governments and local agencies within healthcare to support the Universal Health Care (UHC) agenda. The company plans to expand its diagnostics business footprint in strategic markets across Africa, starting with Kenya.
Dr. Allan Pamba, Executive Vice President, Roche Diagnostics Africa, said, “Diagnostics form the foundation of a robust public health system, but in countries across Africa, such as Kenya, barriers to accessing these continue to stand in the way. As we execute our 10-year diagnostics strategy for Africa, Kenya is a critical market for us. We aim to create an environment built on strong partnerships that will accelerate the country’s health agenda towards increased access to reliable diagnostics.”
The success of this vision means more people will take control of their health, more healthcare providers will feel confident in making decisions for their patients, and more countries will manage the growing burden of non-communicable and communicable diseases cost-effectively.
Bernard Colombo, President, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America at Roche Diagnostics International, said, “The launch of our 10-year diagnostics strategy for Africa and growth in Kenya marks a great milestone and signals our long-term commitment to Africa. This is a vital step in our journey to delivering quality diagnostics to every African.”
Roche’s investment in Africa, and more immediately in Kenya, builds on the success of its existing programs, including the Global Access Program through which Roche already delivers 60% of all HIV viral load testing across sub-Saharan Africa.
Roche’s strategy is rapidly activating, with over 40 employees hired in Kenya in the past year alone. In-vitro diagnostics constitute a vital component of health products and health technologies that contribute to the highest attainable standards of health for all citizens as envisioned in Kenya’s Vision 2030. Roche is committed to increasing its footprint and partnering to drive more investment towards in vitro diagnostics and lab systems strengthening both in Kenya and across the African continent.