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Efforts to streamline public health data gain momentum in Nigeria

Written By

  • Yomi Kazeem
  • Zillah Waminaje

Because we track locally-driven innovations in healthtech across the African continent, we curate a monthly newsletter to share our most “salient” learnings in more real time. We welcome submissions and suggestions. 

Efforts to streamline public health data gain momentum in Nigeria

Nigeria’s ministry of health is stepping up plans to improve access to health systems data across the country. A new digital health committee focused on driving innovation in healthcare is, among other things, aiming to standardise electronic medical record solutions under a national platform, to facilitate access to data on health outcomes. The committee is aiming to deploy programs in hospitals across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones to improve data management and service delivery over the next five years.

Equity investors are backing promising innovators on the cusp of rapid growth

MDaaS Global, a Nigeria-based diagnostics startup, raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding from Aruwa Capital and Newton Partners to expand operations across Nigeria. Founded in 2016, MDaaS Global enables increased tech-enabled access to diagnostics services and runs a network of 17 diagnostic centers across the country.

RecoMed, a South African online healthcare booking platform, raised an undisclosed funding round from Japanese pharmaceutical company, Eisai. The funding will drive an expansion of its services, starting with a focus on breast cancer care and management. RecoMed facilitates access to consultations by connecting patients with 3,000+ clinics and doctors listed on its marketplace, and access to medication via its online pharmacy operations.

Pharmacy Marts, an Egyptian health supply chain procurement startup, raised funding from Acasia Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. Founded in 2017, Pharmacy Marts offers digital marketplace and healthcare financing solutions to ~12,000 pharmacies in Egypt.

Accelerator programs continue to provide key technical support to early-stage innovators

Healthtech Hub Africa, a pan-African accelerator program for healthtech startups, has announced its 2024 cohort of 31 healthtech startups across 14 countries. The selected innovators will participate in a 10-month immersive program designed to facilitate scalability, investment readiness and partnerships. In this round, the program will focus on four thematic solution areas: cardiovascular health, breast cancer, virtual health and care, and optimization of data-driven decision-making.

Nigerian healthtech startups Blueroomcare and SmartPharm were selected as part of the ten startups to participate in Innovest Ignite, an accelerator program by Innovest Afrika and Techpoint Africa. The eight-week program for early-stage startups will offer personalized training and mentorship, and $60,000 in equity investment to the best-rated startups.

More expansion for a fast-growing African health innovator

Zuri Health, a Kenyan telemedicine startup, has launched its services in Cameroon as it continues its rapid pace of  expansion. Now operating in 11 African countries (Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia), Zuri Health offers remote, low-cost access to medical consultations via SMS, WhatsApp, and its mobile and web apps.

Zuri Health’s expansion strategy is anchored on partnerships with telecoms operators in African markets, which offers the startup access to vast subscriber bases as a primary target market. Its latest expansion to Cameroon is in partnership with MTN, the country’s second biggest telecoms operator with around 11 million mobile users.

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Medical drone logistics enable governments and providers leapfrog long-running logistics and infrastructure gaps. However, as this London School of Economics op-ed argues, the capital-intensive nature of the solution raises significant questions about putting “already fragile African healthcare systems under further funding pressure.”

Spread the word! Share this with African health-tech innovators, donors, investors, and enthusiasts within your network – and tell them to sign up!

If you know of an organization which offers funding or support to businesses in African health tech, please let us know. Our team evaluates each support opportunity to share with our community of innovators. 

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