Uganda starts the production of surgical gloves

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Uganda starts the production of surgical gloves.

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A local Ugandan company has started manufacturing surgical gloves, one of the vital medical consumables in health facilities.

The East African Medical Vitals (EAMV) located in the Namanve Industrial Park has started manufacturing surgical and examination gloves, with a current capacity of 10,000 pieces per hour and 3.6 million pairs per month.

The facility is owned by businessman Ben Kavuya.

Brian Kavuya, the managing director of EAMV, said the company, which was incorporated in 2017, was, however, looking for additional financing of up to $10m to expand in order to meet the local demand and compete favourably on the world market.

“We are pleased that the minister has pledged to give us support, which we urgently need. We are the only manufacturer of surgical gloves in the region and we look forward to their support because we really need it,” Kavuya stated.

Kavuya noted that with the current production of 72 million pairs of surgical gloves annually, the company hopes to meet the local demand once they double its capacity.

They import latex, the raw materials used in the manufacture of surgical gloves and condoms from Malaysia, but the managing director said in future, the country needs to tap into the sector by introducing rubber growing, which he said would have a ready market and provide employment to many Ugandans.

“A latex (sap) tree takes four or five years to start producing sap and the country needs a minimum of 15,000ha to set up a proper industry and encourage farmers to grow the trees to get an income,” he said. He added that a tree can survive up to 25 years.

Kavuya said when they expand, they will also manufacture condoms.

“It is one of the main products we are focusing on. We are looking for money and we hope we can expand as soon as possible, even during this current financial year,” he said.

Kavuya added that the National Drug Authority (NDA) and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), have regularly visited the facility and carried out their independent tests to ensure that they meet the recommended standards.

The company employs 250 workers with three expatriates.

Mwebesa said he was pleased to learn that the company had plans to launch other product ranges in ‘a foreseeable future’, with the capacity to readily supply the East African region and COMESA markets, with high quality and affordable medical consumables.

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