tisdag 24 november 2015

Swecare returns to Uganda

For the benefit of our non-Swedish speaking readers, this blogpost is in English. 

Yesterday the third Health Care Business Delegation to Uganda started with an introductory meeting for the delegates. The delegation is organized by Swecare, the Swedish Embassy in Uganda and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, and is headed by the State Secretary of Health and Social Affairs, Ms. Agneta Karlsson. In Uganda we have a program for Monday and Tuesday morning. Then the delegation continues to Rwanda, in cooperation with the Embassy in Kigali.

This morning started with a meeting at the MoH, where we met with high-level officials in relevant areas. After introductions by Ambassador Urban Andersson, State Secretary Agneta Karlsson and Swecare CEO Maria Helling, as well as welcoming words by the Ministry of Health, we divided for break-out sessions, and had interesting discussions on the topics of infrastructure of health care, NCDs (non-communicable diseases) and mother & child health. When the whole group convened again, the discussions were summarized. The next steps include a meeting with the Minister, the Swedish State Secretary and the directors of the technical groups present in the meeting. Continued contact with the company representatives were encouraged, for which the Swedish Embassy offered to assist. 

Next was a very informative meeting with the Aga Khan Development Network, represented by Ms. Erfa Alani, liaison officer and seven of her colleagues. The Aga Khan Development Network works within many areas, where health care is one. In Uganda, there is Kampala Pharmaceutical Industries, Jubilee Medical Insurance and four outreach centres offering medical consultations, including some specialities and lab services among other things. Aga Khan University has a school for nursing and midwifery which will be expandad with a medical school and a university teaching hospital. 

For lunch the delegation met with representatives of the World Bank and the African Development Bank. We got general information about the two organizations and their strategies for the coming years, and well as specific information about their procurement processes. A lot of information can be found on their websites (WB and ADB), so remember to check those if you are interested in e.g. upcoming tenders. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent in a match-making workshop with members of the Uganda Healthcare Federation. The media interest in the workshop was quite big, and both the State Secretary, Swecare's CEO and several of the companies were interviewed by television and the press. After welcoming words by Maria Helling and Grace Kiwanuka and Dr. Ian Clarke from UHF, everyone introduced themselves and we split up in groups for coffee and discussions. The Swedish companies presented their products or services, and got many detailed questions regarding their solutions.

The long day was rounded off with a nice reception in the garden of the Ambassador's residence. This gave the Swedish companies and other delegates another possibility to connect with stakeholders of the Ugandan health care sector. In addition, the guests could also take a close look at the CASAB clinic, that was put up in the garden for this occasion, and where some of the companies also presented their products. Judging from the way people were chatting and mingling, we hope and believe that many business contacts were made this evening - just as we hoped for!

The Swedish companies participating in Uganda delegation are Astra Zeneca, CAS AB - Clean Analytical System AB, Elekta, Getinge Group, Globhe, Helseplan Consulting Group AB, Hemocue, Lantmännen AS-Faktor and Medcard Apps AB. The delegation has received funding from the Office for Project Export of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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