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In-vitro Diagnostics: A Tool to Reduce Infectious Disease Burden in Africa

   July 8, 2024

Africa has seen the emergence or resurgence of several infectious diseases in recent decades. Some are linked to newly identified microorganisms such as Rickettsia felis and Tropheryma whipplei, while others are associated with well-known historical diseases such as cholera. Moreover, outbreaks of diseases caused by previously unknown microorganisms, such as the Ebola virus, Zika virus, and Chikungunya virus, have had significant impacts.

HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent in Africa. Early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are crucial in curbing HIV transmission. According to, as of 2022, the number of people living with HIV reached 20.8 million from 19.6 million in 2017 in eastern and southern Africa, with new infections continuing to increase in the region. Awareness about testing services and the HIV status of individuals has also improved. Therefore, the rising prevalence of HIV and the increasing availability of rapid and self-diagnostic tests for HIV are expected to drive the demand for IVD.

IVD technologies such as immunoassay, molecular diagnostics, clinical chemistry, microbiology and others play a significant role in tackling the infectious disease burden in Africa. Additionally, the development of new technologies such as molecular systems, point-of-care (PoC) diagnostics, microarrays, and next-generation sequencing (NGS) helps in the accurate diagnosis, leading to an effective prognosis of infectious diseases. 

Government Initiatives Strengthening Healthcare Infrastructure to Support the Adoption of IVD Products in Africa

Governments in Africa are undertaking initiatives to expand and modernize Africa’s healthcare sector largely in collaboration with developed countries and global organizations. Africa’s healthcare sector is witnessing a consistent expansion due to frequent infectious disease outbreaks, technological advancements, and the rising need for the early diagnosis of chronic diseases.

Governments in Africa have been collaborating with international organizations and agencies to tackle the burden of diseases and develop & support health facilities. For example, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI)-supported health facilities grew at a CAGR of 15.3% between 2016–2020. Similarly, in June 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi (Kenya) announced the approval of USD 345 million in funding through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for an AIDS Relief program (PEPFAR) to support Kenya’s HIV response. The funds allocated through the PEPFAR Country Operational Plan (COP) 2022 were used from October 1, 2022, through September 30, 2023, to support critical solutions required to maintain epidemic control in Kenya.

Point-of-care Testing – A Prominent Trend Shaping the Future of IVD Industry in Africa

In Africa, the adoption of point-of-care testing (POCT) is driven by its affordability, ease of use, and quick results. The region's economic and infrastructural challenges, coupled with underdeveloped testing capabilities, further underscore the importance of POCT. It is commonly used for diagnosing hepatitis, syphilis, and HIV. The rising prevalence of HIV, particularly among young women and adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa—who accounted for over 77% of new infections among young people aged 15-24 in 2022, according to UNAIDS—is expected to increase the demand for POCT.

Additionally, efforts to enhance patient care are underway, with African countries and key players working to expand access to POCT. For example, in February 2022, Siemens Healthineers AG (Germany) partnered with UNICEF to optimize POCT networks in Africa. Additionally, various events and conferences aim to raise awareness about POCT among healthcare providers and patients. One such event, MEDLAB Africa, held in Lagos in April 2024, emphasized the significance of POCT in the region’s healthcare infrastructure and showcased advancements and integration efforts for POCT.

Insights from Africa IVD Market Analysis

Recent insights from Meticulous Research® provide valuable perspectives on the future trajectory of the Africa IVD market. Projections suggest a potential worth of $1.65 billion by 2031, driven by a remarkable Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.1% from 2024 to 2031. At the heart of this transformation is the e rising prevalence of chronic & infectious diseases coupled with IVD market players’ increasing investments in Africa. Additionally, the growing demand for Point-of-care (POC) & rapid diagnostics, the rising geriatric population, government initiatives supporting Africa's healthcare sector, rising healthcare expenditure, and increasing R&D expenditure fuels the market growth.

As the regional landscape takes shape, South Africa is expected to hold a substantial market share in 2024. Notably, the presence of leading IVD players such as Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), Becton, Dickinson and Company (U.S.), bioMérieux SA (France), Danaher Corporation (U.S.), F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (Switzerland), QIAGEN N.V. (Netherlands), Siemens Healthineers AG (Germany), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (U.S.), Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., (U.S.), Illumina, Inc. (U.S.), and Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd (China) have established a broad presence across various countries of Africa directly or through distributors, leading to the widespread adoption of their IVD Products. In essence, this comprehensive overview from Meticulous Research serves as a gateway into the Africa IVD market.


The high burden of infectious diseases in Africa has propelled the demand for IVD. Furthermore, the government initiatives supporting the development of healthcare infrastructure, along with the growing adoption of IVD technologies such as point-of-care and molecular diagnostics, offer lucrative opportunities for the players operating in this market.

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