Sterile Packaging in Africa Infusion for Togo: How Sterile Technologies help Africa's Developing Pharma Industry

Author / Editor: Isa Alkan* / Anke Geipel-Kern

West African pharmaceutical pioneer relies on Bosch sterilizer — Medicine is in short supply in sub-Saharan Africa — even basic medications are difficult to obtain. This led Dr Guy Dovi-Akué to give up his position as chief physician at a German hospital and return to his homeland of Togo, where he founded a pharmaceutical company.

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( © Peter Hermes Furian - Fotolia)

In order to produce urgently needed intravenous solutions, Dr Guy Dovi-Akué founded the company Do Pharma in Lomé in 2006. The pharmaceutical pioneer relies on a sterilizer from SBM (Schoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik), a subsidiary of Bosch Packaging Technology, for the sterilization of infusion bottles.

Ebola, AIDS, malaria — the people of West Africa are repeatedly affected by particularly severe epidemics. Life expectancy is fifteen years below the global average. The reason is insufficient medical care, as a comparison with global industrial countries shows: while around one quarter of all illnesses around the world occurs in African countries south of the Sahara, the global pharmaceutical industry generates less than one percent of its revenues in this region.

Pharmaceutical companies have for a long time avoided investing in the affected countries, mostly due to political instability. Since the local production of medicine is also very limited, even basic medications such as fever-reducing and pain-killing drugs are difficult to get hold of.

“The Feeling of Being Needed”

It was this catastrophic medical situation that motivated Dr Guy Dovi-Akué to return to his homeland of Togo. After completing secondary school in the Togolese capital of Lomé, he emigrated to Germany to study medicine, where he also completed his residency in general medicine and surgery. For more than ten years he worked as chief physician and deputy head at a hospital in Saarburg, Germany.

“Most doctors from Africa who work in Europe never go back. But I had the feeling of being needed in Togo. Several of my family members died of illnesses that could have been treated easily,” he reports. In 1991, Dr Dovi-Akué founded the Polyclinique Internationale Saint Joseph in Lomé with the aim of providing people with better medical care. Today the hospital is one of the largest private clinics in Togo, with departments specializing in internal medicine, gynecology, ophthalmology, and radiology.

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