Ghana’s medical device market is likely to get constrained as a result of its low vaccine rollout, fiscal restraints and the risk of the spread of the Omicron variant, according to Fitch Solutions.
Based on Fitch’s assessment, at current rate of Covid-19 vaccinations, it would take 278 days to vaccinate another 10% of Ghana’s population. This is a typical representation of the low availability to Covid-19 vaccines in sub-Saharan African countries like Ghana, Fitch said.
As of December 7, 2021, 8.7 per cent of Ghana’s population had received at least one Covid-19 vaccine with 2.8% of its population having been fully vaccinated.
However, there are signs of improvement with an uptick of vaccinations following COVAX delivery of another 1.7 million doses of Pfizer’sCovid-19 vaccines in Ghana. Given that Ghana has a population of over 31 million, the overall outlook is for a long vaccination campaign that will extend disruption.
According to Fitch, this disruption is threatened to be impacted in 2022 by the spread of the Omicron variant, which is expected to become the most dominant variant of Covid-19. On December 2, 2021, Ghanaian officials announced the first detected case of Omicron in Ghana.
This development has heightened the urgency of Ghana’s vaccination campaign, with Ghana’s health minister announcing plans to take mobile vaccination units to various areas including churches and mosques, and confirming that vaccinations would be available to all people over the age of 15.
Meanwhile, Fitch forecast that Ghana’s medical device market will grow by high single-digits. By revising its CAGR forecast upwards, Fitch now projects that Ghana’s medical device market will grow at a 2020-2025 CAGR of 8.2% in US dollar terms, taking the value to US$ 98.7 million in 2025.
Ghana’s medical device market will remain dependent on imports
While Ghana has a relatively small medical devices market, “we expect in the long-term its medical devices market will grow given the demand for greater medical device supply due to its growing population and economy.”
The market will also be driven by the current investment in healthcare infrastructure, which will strengthen the reach of medical devices to its population, Fitch said. Also, the market will benefit from patient aids designed to treat non-communicable diseases, as diseases such as cancer and diabetes are on the rise in Ghana.
Ghana’s medical device market will remain dependent on imports. Ghana’s medical device market has always been dominated by imports, with 2019 imports making up 86.6% of the market. This theme is set to continue, with Ghana’s medical devices imports being worth more than fifty times Ghana’s medical devices exports.
Recall that in the 12 months leading up to April 2021, Ghana’s medical devices imports grew 33.2% year-on-year to US$88.2million. In comparison, Ghana’s medical device exports grew by 1,200% year-on-year to US$1.5 million over the same time period. This is mainly due to the lack of production of medical devices within Ghana.
Indeed, apathy towards vaccination has upped, compared to the beginning of the year, thus officials must put together measures that will make it ‘mandatory’ for citizens to get vaccinated. That will surely shore up vaccination rates of the country hugely.