Procurement of high-tech laboratory equipment at Apex Medical Laboratories has helped to accelerate the business to another level.

The laboratory was co-founded by Kundai Moyo and her friend in 2017 but started its operationalization in 2018 with little start-up capital to purchase laboratory equipment for basic testing services.

Moyo recalled that they struggled to meet all the necessary requirements needed for a laboratory to fully operate as required by the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM).

“It took us almost a year to receive the first client seeking for our laboratory services at the Center when it was just starting,” she said.

Although the business was started, Moyo said, they did not have any background or training on how to run a medical laboratory business or any success business before.

While searching for funds to buy lab equipment, she said, they joined Growth Accelerator Malawi Challenge in 2019 following the advert which they came across.

“We were selected and joined in the first cohort. That was a breakthrough to our business which had challenges to get capital for equipment as well as to find clients for the services provided,” said Moyo.

She said joining the program was profitable because they had access to trainings which needed, they to have confidence in the business leadership and understand better, cost modules and value addition.

Moyo explained that they applied for $40,000 grant and $16,000 grant for Covid-19 window which they received to procure laboratory equipment like GeneXpert machine to help in Viral Load (VL) for Hiv and Aids clients.

“The machine was also used to test Covid-19 patients during the pandemic,” she said.

Other state-of-the-art machines procured using the financial support from the Accelerator program included Biosafety cabinet, Automate chemistry, Water testing, Auto Immune, Allergy testing, Hormone and Cancer Marker.

They also bought a motorcycle for courier services like home collection and delivery of results as most clients preferred to stay home than walking in to the center.

Moyo further said they bought a generator to back up power as most machines needed power throughout.

“With the unsustainable power experienced in the country, we thought of procuring a generator to make sure that equipment in our laboratory is running through out without power cuts,” she said.

Moyo said they have grown and expanded the business by opening the laboratory at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre.

Apex Medical Laboratory has created five professional jobs at its offices in Lilongwe and continue to employ more people at the new lab center in Blantyre.

A 25-year-old Tadala Chokhotho started her work at Apex Medical Laboratory after graduating from Malamulo Adventist University and joined the lab in June, 2021 as a Laboratory Technician.

She said the lab center has helped her to gain more experience and skills because she is now able to operate the equipment.

“We do different tests using automatic and modern equipment we use which the center purchased. This has led to quality and accurate results for clients,” she said.

Chokhotho said the lab receives more clients who come to do different tests like HIV Viral Load, Covid-19, hormonal tests among others.

She said the center has recorded more clients compared to previous years.  base has increased 

Chokhotho however commended Apex for considering youths like her and others for employment. 

Many young and skilled people continue to face unemployment, she said. “To some of us, this was a great opportunity to have a good job while others are still wondering looking for the same.”