Way back in the 70s, Dr. Ahmed ElBadawi M.E.Hamid kept asking a question why there was no drug industry in Sudan. He answered his own question and fulfilled his dream in the mid-70s by laying the foundations of Amipharma Laboratories Ltd.
He started with an infrastructure for manufacturing pharmaceuticals in a space not more than 10,000 sq.mts and yet adhered to all International Regulations specified by World Health Organization’s guidelines of Good Manufacturing Practices.
The factory started after selecting a limited number of academically qualified Pharmacists, Chemists, Engineers and Technicians. During this time Prof.Hendricks, Consultant of UNIDO and Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Technology at Ghent University, Belgium, played a significant role for Amipharma. He arranged for training the personnel in Belgium in the field of production, quality control and good manufacturing practices before the commencement of production. Prof. Hendricks also selected the machines and instruments for the quality control laboratory. Amipharma can never forget Prof.Hendricks contribution.
Production started in April 1983 in small batches of limited products with two production lines for tablets and capsules using semi-automatic machines operated by limited number of workers. High quality products at reasonable prices compared to the imported medicines created an increased demand. The company had to import high-tech fully automatic machines by air to cope with the increasing demand. Within only two years of launch, Amipharma products were competing with imported products from Europe specially those of Beecham International. Beecham used to control the market of antibiotics in Sudan those days despite their high prices. Beecham responded to the stiff competition given by Amipharma by assigning contract manufacturing and a contract was signed between both parties. According to this deal, Amipharma obtained the license to produce some of Beecham products at a lower price than the imports, while Amipharma continued to produce the same products at lower prices than that of Beecham. This joint venture continued till the year 2000. Beecham today is part of the giant GSK after merger, which is the top company in the world. This contract manufacturing by Amipharma for European company Beecham undoubtedly had a positive effect and Amipharma gained the trust of Pharmacists and Doctors of Sudan. Moreover, this joint venture made the local company take major steps for development by enhancing their production lines, adding new lines such as dry powders, syrups and suspensions. It was not only the production lines which were developed but also the instruments in the quality control laboratory. Even the infrastructure grew in size and the space of the manufacturing facility increased fivefold to the current 58000 sq.mts.
Amipharma today produces more than 100 products in different dosage forms, strengths and in many therapeutic categories, most importantly antibiotics, antihypertensives, antidiabetics, analgesics and medicines for endemic diseases like malaria and stomach flu.
In its journey of 35 years, Amipharma has earned its reputation and is now a name that people trust. To reach out to all patients throughout Sudan, the company has distribution offices in Nyala, Atbara, and Medani including Khartoum.
To meet the needs of the patients in Sudan, the local industries should start manufacturing Injections, Eye Drops and Inhalers. Amipharma has benefited from this Government’s policy of boosting the local industries which allows national industry to outsource these new dosage forms through contract manufacturing. Amipharma has collaborated with leading companies to manufacture for them for 3 years during which Amipharma will construct production facilities and transfer the technology to carry out local manufacturing of inhalers, injections, eye, ear and nasal drops.
At the export front the company has registered its products in Kenya, Chad and Eritrea. It has already exported to Eritrea and registration processes are going on for other neighbouring countries.
Amipharma is driven by social responsibility and has provided jobs and opportunities for Sudanese men and women. There are 850 employees in the factory engaged in different fields of technology, pharmaceutics, chemistry and management along with the skilled workers and about 300 people in the various distribution offices.
Training opportunities are being provided to students and graduates. Amipharma sponsors research in different fields including universities in Sudan, provides summer jobs for students to financially help them, supports medical convoys to different areas of Sudan financially and with medicines, sponsors scientific and medical conferences, rewards outstanding students in Sudanese universities, supports departments of chronic diseases in many hospitals and also supports and sponsors environment safety projects.
Dr.Ahmed Elbadawi M.E. Hamid CEO & Managing Director of Amipharma was sharing his success story at Arab-Afro Medica 2017 at Friendship Hall. Khartoum 12-14 Dec’17 organised by Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development (AUIED).
At the end Dr.Ahmed concluded by saying “We believe that the success we have accomplished was with God’s help, we were granted the elements of success in the form of financial resources, although it’s a family business yet the profits go back directly to its capital. Qualified personnel are continuously being trained in and outside Sudan. There are clear business agenda and work plans in all departments. We are setting short and long term expansion plans. Our accommodating work environment has given us loyal workers who give their best and cooperate as a family. Today, praise be to Allah, each and every product coming out of any of Amipharma’s production lines is committed to our mission of providing ‘High Quality Medicines to Benefit a Patient at an Affordable Price.
This is not the end, but the beginning to realize our vision.”
There is too much sugar in Sudanese Culture, be it in the songs, poetry and diet. It is time to increase awareness about Diabetes especially in the cities where there is sedentary lifestyle and too much sugar in the diet. Let us change our lifestyle to prevent Diabetes said the Vice President H.E. Hassabo Mohamed Abdel Rahman. He inaugurated the Sudan International Diabetes Congress (SIDC) organized by Sudan Diabetes Federation (SDF) represented by the Sudan Diabetes Association, Sudan Childhood Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care Organization at Friendship Hall, Khartoum. This is the first international conference of diabetes in Sudan organized by SDF and International Diabetes Federation/MENA region following the success of national conferences held over the consecutive years.
In this conference from 16-19th December there will be 21 foreign speakers, 12 speakers from Sudanese Diaspora and many national speakers. The foreign speakers are authorities in Diabetes management from Egypt, Pakistan, Kuwait, Norway, UK, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria and Tanzania. The Scientific program encompasses lectures, oral presentations, poster presentations and workshops in the recent advances in the management of Diabetes. The Co-Chairman of the conference and the Chair, Diabetes Care Organization Prof. Mohamed Ali Eltom welcomed the foreign speakers to the conference. Prof.Eltom is also Chairman of Health Diplomacy Association and has served as Ambassador of Sudan to Nordic countries. The Conference President and Chair, SDF Prof. Abdelazim Kaballo said that we are facing big challenges to prevent and control diabetes in our societies. Today Diabetes is one of the most common non communicable diseases in the world. Diabetes is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in most high income countries. It is a major economic burden at all levels from person through families and societies to countries and entire nations. With effective prevention and management programs, we can reduce the prevalence of diabetes and its burden. With joint efforts we can achieve better health for all. Federal Minister of Health H.E. Bahr Idriss Abu Garda congratulated the organisers of the conference and assured that the recommendations from the conference will be put to practice in Sudan. Prof.El Mahdi Mohamed Ali the eminent Endocrinologist of Sudan was felicitated by the honoured guests and the organizing committee. His trophy was received by his daughter in his absence. The Saudi Diabetic Association felicitated the Vice President and the Organisers of this conference with a trophy.
Sugar not fat is the real heart disease killer. WHO recommends that adults should keep their intake of sugar to no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) daily. Sugar is no more a commodity. It is promoted as a brand. Promoting branded sugar with a health message, especially in Sudan which has high consumption of sugar, is innovative positioning. It was ‘First One’ to do it, by communicating the health benefits of its sugar because of its packaging technology. It reads ‘Packed by best technology to best grade impurity free Sugar kernels which have high source of Carbohydrate. It is important to promote your family’s health and well being’.
It simply means its refined sugar. There are other brands of refined sugar in Sudan, but may not have spoken of impurity free as the First 1.
No, I’m not in Libya but in the peripheries of Omdurman (Sudan) known as Souk Libya. Enjoying field work with colleague Ziyad Tarig Nimir. Three decades back, goods used to be imported from Libya and sold in this market, thus the name Souk Libya. Today only the highway remains, going to the Libyan desert.
The Federal Minister of Health of Sudan H.E. Dr. Bahar Idrees Abugarda opened the 2 day conference of IGAD member states regulatory authorities on Regional Medicine Regulatory Collaboration and Harmonization. His Excellency was the Guest of Honour at the conference on 26th April which was held at Alsalam Rotana under the auspices of the First Lady of Sudan Widad Babikir.
The Health Minister thanked IGAD for choosing Sudan as venue for the 2nd such conference. The first was held at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during 3 -5 August’15. His Excellency thanked World Bank, WHO, African Union Commission (AUC), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for actively supporting the IGAD initiative.
Dr.Bahar Idrees spoke of the 3 tier health system in Sudan highlighting the achievements of National Medicine and Poisons Board (NMPB) in ensuring efficacy, safety and quality of medicines, cosmetics and medical devices in Sudan. There are issues and challenges of substandard and counterfeit medicines. Sudan has seven borders and three of them are IGAD members which can collaborate to address the cross border issues. IGAD as a regional entity has taken the initiative to ensure quality, efficacy and safety of medicines. World Bank will be financing the initiative and WHO, AUC and NEPAD will leverage their technical expertise to support IGAD. Health Minister Bahar Idriss Abu Garga hoped that IGAD sets up a Health Program Centre located in Sudan.
The overall objective of the conference is to provide access to safe, effective and quality medicine to the IGAD population, through harmonized medicine regulatory system among the member countries, and work closely for the implementation of the strategies and modalities discussed and agreed in the Addis Ababa Call for Action during the first IGAD MRH conference, and to establish the IGAD regional regulatory collaboration mechanism with the support from development partners.
The conference was attended by representatives of Ministry of Health from Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and host country Sudan. The opening had the gracious presence of the Health Minister of Somalia H.E. Dr.Hawa Hassan Mohamed; IGAD Director of Economic Cooperation & Social Development Elsadig Abdalla; World Bank Representative Apollo Muhairwe; WHO Representative Dr.Naeema Elgasseera; NEPAD Representative Margaret Ndomondo-Sigonda and Health Policy Officer of AUC Dr. Janet Byaruhanga. The welcoming and introductory remarks were presented by IGAD Program Manager for Health & Social Development Fathia Alwan and Secretary General of NMPB Dr. Mohamed Elhassan.
12-year-old Mukhtar Ahmed Ali Gadkarim from Sudan was suffering from kidney failure due to a rare disorder known as Primary Hyperoxaluria. He was saved at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India, where he successfully underwent a combined Liver and Kidney Transplant. A multi-organ transplant team of surgeons took 16 hours to conduct the challenging surgery where a kidney of one sister and a part of the liver of other sister were transplanted to save the life of their younger brother. The boy was discharged 17 days after the combined transplant.
60 year old Urzula Wada from Poland was confined to her bed because of back pain. She underwent spinal fusion surgery in Fortis Hospital in Bangalore, India and could walk 24 hours after surgery and the pain vanished.
A US citizen underwent a total laparoscopic uterus removal at Mumbai. Another US national opted for weight loss surgery (Bariatric surgery) by Sleeve Gastrectomy (stomach reduction method) in India.
A complex bone grafting procedure was done at Fortis Hospital in Bangalore to give a new lease of life to a young Yemeni patient, who could not walk because of a bullet injury.
Lonija Krastina, 22 year old young lady, from Latvia of North Europe was affected with Auto immune disorder – RA +ve and HLA – B 27 +ve. She opted for Ayurvedic treatment in Cochin and after several months treatment she is perfectly healthy and leads a happy life.
These few success stories only goes to prove that India is a preferred healthcare destination for patients across the globe. Patients seek value when they choose to undertake travel beyond borders for healthcare. Thus the new term for medical tourism is Medical Value Travel. The value the patients get in India are world class treatment , state of the art hospitals, largest pool of highly qualified and skilled doctors, well trained and caring nurses and para medical staff, latest and highly advanced medical devises, absence of waiting time for patients, no language problem for foreign patients, ultramodern pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging facilities, 300 private hospitals accredited with National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH), 23 JCI accredited private hospitals and most importantly affordable treatment costs. The cost per surgery is very low in India and a patient saves about 50-70% when compared to many developed nations. Moreover India provides 5000 years old system of medicine Ayurveda and Yoga which are most effective ways of providing wellness for both mind and body.
Patients travel to India for heart transplants and other heart surgeries, for treatment of cancer and bone marrow transplants, for knee and hip replacement surgeries, minimally invasive spine surgery, brain surgery, liver transplants and difficult cases of infertility treatments.
Advantage Healthcare – India 2015, an International Summit on Medical Value Travel with the theme “Promoting Medical Services Export from India” was held from 5-7 October, 2015 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India. It was organized by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC). The event was supported by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Tourism and National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare providers (NABH). More than 500 foreign delegates attended the conference from 65 countries. The Sudanese delegation comprised of Prof. Zain Karar, President Sudan Medical Council; Prof. Eltayeb Abderahman, President Sudan Medical Specialisation Board; Dr.Anil Mithani, Urologist, Omdurman Teaching Hospital; Dr.Yassin Abbas Widaa, General Director, National Medical Commission; Abdelmoniem ElSoni Ahmed, Secretary General, Council for International People’s Friendship and Dr. Hany Gaafar Eltom Medical Travel Operator. The delegation returned to Sudan and one of them quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”.
‘Spearmint fi, Cinnamon fi, Hibiscus fi, Hargal fi, Fenugreek fi, Green tea fi, Anise fi, laakin Moringa mafi’. This is what I have been hearing since the last three months in all Hypermarkets and Supermarkets in Khartoum. All variants or ingredients of ‘tea bags’ are available except Moringa. My evening tea is Moringa and after reading about the health benefits of it, I am inclined to make it even my morning cuppa , but where is Moringa? I saw the customer service number on the pack of Moringa manufactured by Elnasr for Food Industries in Sudan. Much to my surprise someone did respond from Customer Service. His name was Mubarak. He spoke in English and apologized for the non-availability of Moringa. He went further to tell me that supplies of Moringa was not coming from India. He said most of the raw material were imported from India. Learning that I was from India, Mubarak spoke of friendly bilateral relations between the two countries. Moringa is derived from Murungai/muringa the Tamil/Malayalam word for drumsticks. Moringa is an antioxidant and helps to protect cells from damage and is useful in many health disorders.
We are all aware that recent rains and floods have affected thousands of people in Khartoum and other areas. Some of the people have lost their lives and the rest have lost their homes and property. As an aftermath of this crisis the major problem that arises in the affected people are diseases like malaria, gastrointestinal infections and other infections. As a social responsibility to help the affected people, Fast International Company a leading importer of medicines from India, Jordan, Cyprus, Austria, Switzerland and Egypt donated life saving medicines and other medications to the Khartoum State Ministry of Health on 2nd September’13. Dr.Mamoun Homeida thanked Dr.Tarig Mohy Eldin Algemiabi the Chairman & CEO of the company. The value of the medicines donated was SDG 400 million. Dr.Tarig was happy to extend this help because the State Ministry he said knows where and who are the needy people for these medications.