This summer, Salient launched the first pan-African landscape of tech-enabled healthcare supply chain innovations. Our latest work “Digitized Supply Chains and Contraceptive Care: Opportunities for Expanding Access in Africa” explores the implications of these health supply chain innovations on access to contraceptive care.
Of the 348 innovations studied, we found 116 health supply chain innovators across 27 African countries who are facilitating access to contraceptive products and services.
Key highlights include:
- Emergency and oral contraceptive pills are the most commonly sold products (excluding male condoms) by innovators studied, however, only 50% of the innovators offer them to consumers. Less than 10% offer DMPA-SC. This presents an opportunity to expand innovators’ contraceptive product mix, especially for e-commerce companies with wide geographic reach.
- The absence of online pharmacy regulations and guidance in many countries continues to restrict the operations of health supply chain innovators, and by extension, the distribution of contraceptives through digital channels.
- There are gaps in Francophone Africa as only 8% of the identified innovators are headquartered in the region. Similarly, only 13% of the identified companies were founded by women, reflecting the gender disparity in leadership seen in broader health tech ecosystems. Efforts to build equitable ecosystems are still required.
- Innovators are exploring strategies leveraging digital networks of private pharmacies to provide affordable contraceptive care to clients using various models, including microinsurance reimbursements, that empower consumer choice, with promising early results with contraceptives. Targeted, digitally-enabled reimbursements are an area for further exploration.
Read up on the report to learn more. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch. We acknowledge, with appreciation, the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the innovators whose work continues to inform and inspire us.