Africa’s health examined

The first Africa Health will bring together all manner of stakeholders in the medical field, including medical and complementary healthcare professionals, and equipment manufacturers.

HEALTH and wellness and the unique health concerns of Africa, will be the focus of the first Africa Health exhibition and congress, running from 9 to 11 May at the MTN Expo Centre in Nasrec.
Health practitioners
More than 250 international exhibitors are expected at Africa Health
Organisers say the expo is not only for medical specialists but also for those who have an interest in the field.
A range of topics and sectors will be exhibited, in the Western and complementary medicine fields, such as infectious diseases and childbirth. There will be a complementary medicine programme, with high-profile speakers on alternative medicine such as tibb, homeopathy, indigenous and traditional.
The conference will cover general principles for implementing complementary medicine, including global trends and the impact of traditional and complementary medicine and skin disease in the developing world.
It will also look at the proper use of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines and the importance of patient awareness in developing regions. Research and development regarding the eradication of infectious diseases such as TB and HIV/Aids on the African continent will also be addressed.

“The most important and compelling reason for attending the conference is to highlight the importance and impact that infectious diseases have in Africa,” said Dr Mana Kasongo, the co-ordinator of the South African HIV Clinicians’ Society and the chair of the conference.

Women’s health
Pregnancy and childbirth will also have a high profile in bid to improve the standards and quality of women’s healthcare on the continent. Every year, nearly 200 000 women in sub-Saharan Africa – or 500 a day – die from pregnancy-related causes such as haemorrhage, hypertension and obstructed labour. Aids and malaria are also critical in this group.
“Three-quarters die from conditions which can be prevented or treated with well-known interventions and through skilled care. Making this care accessible to women will reduce the burden of maternal deaths,” says Dr Stephen Munjanja, the senior lecturer in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Zimbabwe.

More than 250 international exhibitors will be at the exhibition, coming from countries such as China, Germany, Taiwan, France, Italy, United States, United Kingdom and India. Exhibitors include those in the nursing sector through to senior healthcare professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, policy makers, traditional healers and alternative healthcare practitioners.
A product demonstration
A product demonstration
It will be attended by medical industry professionals; dealers and distributors looking to source and research pioneering technology and equipment; suppliers, manufacturers, agents and buyers of products; policy makers from government authorities; private sector healthcare organisations; institutions; academics; and healthcare professionals. 

“This will be a unique experience for all in the healthcare sector to learn, educate, network and focus on issues that are important and relevant to them,” says Kerry Oliver, the event’s publicist.

In all, there will be over 5 000m2 of products and services on display. Siemens, Karl Storz, Fuji, Maquet and Terumo will be some of the exhibitors on the floor.

Anne-Mie Tack, the marketing manager of Agfa HealthCare, says Africa has shown significant improvement in the sector thanks to the increase in quality hospitals and qualified doctors. The continent has taken measures to modernise and structure its healthcare system and is moving towards increased efficiencies and cost-effectiveness.
“Due to this reason, there exists an immense opportunity for the need to supply a wide range of medical equipment and disposables to meet the demand for quality healthcare services in African regions,” she explains.

The expo is an extension of Arab Health, the largest exhibition and conference of its kind in the Middle East, held to enhance global healthcare. For the African instalment, the latest technology in live surgery link-ups, professional case studies and presentations will keep senior healthcare professionals informed on diagnosis and increased opportunities for the supply of hospital equipment, instrumentation, machinery and other products and services.

“Africa Health 2011 is a timely event since the world’s healthcare development and funding is currently focused towards African countries, and the significant improvements made in the standard of healthcare over the years in South Africa, makes it an ideal location to host this event,” says Ken Takagi, the chief executive and senior general manager of Terumo Corporation.
The congress and exhibition is endorsed by the South African Medical Association and is jointly organised by IIR South Africa BV and IIR Holdings Dubai. It is supported by the departments of Health and Social Development, and Gauteng Province.

Doors will be open from 9am until 5pm; entry to the exhibition is free. For more information, visit the expo website.

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