AUGUST | What we’re reading on health tech in Africa

Because we track locally-driven innovations in health tech across the African continent, we are prototyping a monthly newsletter to share our most salient learnings in more real-time. We thought you may be interested. We welcome submissions, suggestions. 

E-commerce, delivery, supply & product financing: trends in health and beyond

Online pharmacies offer choice and convenience, but can regulatory and quality assurance frameworks keep up with increasing popularity in Nigeria and throughout West Africa?

ICYMI, a profile on Abimbola Adebakin, the entrepreneur who leads my-medicines.com (e-commerce platform for health) and myPharmacy. Her story of growth, and recent partnership with the Nigerian Postal Service to help expand delivery of medicines across the country.

Health entrepreneurs may have increasing options for delivery partnerships as tech-enabled services grow amidst COVID-19. Lagos-based MAX is reporting growth, while Bolt Go and Uber Connect both recently launched in S Africa and Kenya respectively. Are any pilot partnerships for health underway? Let us know.

TradeDepot recently scored $10M in new investment to expand services offering small vendors in Nigeria access to international brands and better access credit. We’re hoping to see analogous services for health care providers gain momentum.

In the midst of COVID-19, e-commerce may be helping keep Nigerian SMEs afloat and health tech may be growing, but will these trends be sustained beyond the pandemic?

Maisha Meds annual report is worth reading: with a growing pharmacy tech system they’re facilitating medicine resupply, providing supply chain data and insights, powering digital reimbursements for contraceptives and malaria and more.

Partnerships are suddenly picking up steam; governments, donors, INGOs & health technologists are joining forces to test new models

Safeboda and UNFPA pilot new service offering free contraceptive delivery during Uganda’s COVID-19 lockdown

Aviro Health launches chatbot giving users access to HIV self-testing resources, linking to kits distributed by Population Services Kenya

The EAC is partnering The Commons Project to launch an app to allow travelers to share their authenticated COVID-19 test results with privacy, creating a digital version of the Yellow Card commonly used for vaccination

The Africa Pandemic Response Campaign was launched to facilitate partnerships for PPE, testing and tracing and more. Supported by Save the Children, partners include the AU, Africa CDC, African Export-Import Bank, Altica Partners, Aramex Delivery Unlimited, Asoko Insight, Baylis Emerging Markets, Cohen and Gresser LLP, and VIA Global Health.

USAID seeks to award funding to innovators leveraging AI solutions for contraceptive forecasting in Côte d’Ivoire

“Bias for the white pitch”: Local tech founders are developing innovative solutions – but are met with limited support. This doesn’t bode well for health tech.

Alex Onukwe expertly summarizes the discussion on funding biases in tech that favor African businesses founded by non-Africans. This conversation has been growing due to recent articles on the situation in Kenya from Nzekwe Henry, and in The Guardian from Larry Madowo. Our own work suggests that local founders in health tech suffer from similar challenges. Supporting African entrepreneurs will be key to scaling fit-for-purpose health solutions in the coming years.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

  • Kariane St-DenisSalient Advisory

ABOUT SALIENT

New models to deliver health information, products, services and financing are desperately needed globally, especially for equity-seeking populations. As a healthcare consulting firm, we co-develop actionable insights and partnerships, supporting global changemakers to advance outcomes and equity.

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