Sterilisation of Infusions Towards Pharmaceutical Independence: Producing Infusions in Africa
A case study – Dr Dovi-Akué relies on a sterilizer from SBM, a subsidiary of Bosch Packaging Technology, for the sterilization of infusion bottles.
In sub-Saharan Africa, medicine is in short supply—even basic medications are difficult to obtain. This led Dr Guy Dovi-Akué to resign from his position as chief physician at a German hospital and return to his homeland of Togo. In order to produce intravenous solutions, he founded the company Do Pharma in Lomé in 2006. Dr Dovi-Akué 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 severe epidemics. The life expectancy in the region 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 occur in African countries i.e. to the south of Sahara, the global pharmaceutical industry generates less than one per cent of its revenues in this region.
For a long time, pharmaceutical companies have been avoiding investing in the affected countries, mostly due to political instability. Since the local production of medicine is limited, even basic medications such as fever-reducing and pain-killing drugs are difficult to obtain.
“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 immigrated to Germany to study medicine, where he also completed his residency in general medicine and surgery.
For more than ten years he worked as a 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 better medical care to people. Today, the hospital is one of the largest private clinics in Togo, with departments specializing in internal medicine, gynecology, ophthalmology, and radiology.