Next month, another edition of Medic West Africa will hold in Lagos. This event has grown to become the largest medical exhibition in West Africa, incorporating courses and conferences for medical professionals in Nigeria and beyond. Dr. Jide Idris, Commissioner for Health of Lagos State, calls it “the key platform for sharing knowledge and information” on the West African healthcare market.
I remember walking around the exhibition last year, amazed at the potential for the Nigerian health sector. Through the vast space that is the Eko Conference Centre were exhibitors from the Far East, the Middle East and our old friends in the West all competing to catch the eyes of the beautiful bride. Last year, Medic West Africa attracted almost 2,500 visitors with more than 300 local and international companies showing their latest products and services, almost double the number for 2012. For the 2014 event, the organizers have added 100 more stands, providing room for 400 exhibitors and most of these have sold out, a month to the event.
It’s evidently a popular event with 95% of exhibtiors re-booking their stands for 2014 while still on-site, and 98% of visitors confirming that they will return for the next Medic West Africa Exhibition and Convention.
One of the exhibitors, Sorisha Naidoo, director of Crystal Tomato in South Africa, said last year, “We loved the exhibition, we met so many people from the industry we want to be in and the feedback is just great. We are looking forward to next year.” Similarly, Shaba Johnson Adetonkunbo, Chief Nursing Officer of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said “The experience is wonderful and innovative, and it gives room for improvement in the Health sector in Nigeria.
From the experience last year, the exhibition is just one indicator of changes happening across the health sector in Nigeria that may not yet be obvious to everyone. The two largest exhibitors are probably JNCI, a wholly Nigerian firm, and GE, who have both landed some of the major equipping contacts with tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. These tertiary hospitals, both in the public and private sectors, need to up their game significantly if they are to attract a proportion of the large number of Nigerian patients that travel to India every year for their healthcare.
We spoke to Bryan Pearson, who leads the team from Afrocet and Informa that delivers the conference in Lagos, Nigeria, and he explained why Medic West Africa is a natural space for inspiration on what the Nigerian health sector can look like in the next few years; and stressed the importance of taking time out of one’s normal clinical milieu to explore options and discover new opportunities.
There were hospital groups from the Middle East advertising both their hospital services and their medical education, reflecting the reality of the times in Nigeria and the choices people have.
Medic West Africa also will run three CPD courses this year, the Medical Laboratory Conference (in collaboration with the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria), the Healthcare Quality Conference (in partnership with the Society for Quality in Healthcare in Nigeria) and a conference on Infectious Diseases, HIV and Evidence-based Healthcare (in collaboration with BeyHealth). You can sign up for the conferences HERE.
We look forward to another exhibition that should inspire us on the possibilities for our country. This year, we hope that there will be more Nigerian companies taking stands offering their products and services. We will cover the conference more proactively on our different channels and ask you to join and tell us what you think. It’s the largest healthcare event in Nigeria, and no one covers healthcare in Nigeria the way we do at Nigeria Health Watch. So expect live-tweets, pictures, snap interviews. If you are there, look out for our team. Tell us what you think. Bring it to life!
Register for your free visit to the exhibition HERE. See you on the 15th to 17th in Lagos, Nigeria.