Meet Africa’s women leaders in health supply chains

Written By

  • Yomi Kazeem

Because we track locally-driven innovations in health-tech across the African continent, we curate a monthly newsletter to share our most “salient” learnings in more real time. We welcome submissions and suggestions. | January 2023

Reviewing our work in 2022

Through the year, our research and work was featured in 150+ news and feature story pieces across regional and global outlets including CNN, Al Jazeera,  TechCrunchQuartz AfricaForbes Afrique, and CNBC Africa.

In January, we published a discussion document, following rapid landscaping of telemedicine and digital counseling companies in East Africa, with a focus on Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. We examined trends and exciting opportunities in the region, with a summary of data from 26 companies.

In February, we published an analysis of the landscape of digital health innovation across continent, reviewing trends and activities of 1,200+ African health-tech innovators.

In June, we launched our flagship market intelligence report on Innovations in Digitizing Distribution of Health Products. It featured 80+ health start-ups leveraging technology to improve access to health products in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda.

Alongside esteemed partners, we also launched the Investing in Innovation program, a pan-African approach to supporting 60 health technology companies innovating in African supply chains. The  program is sponsored by Gates FoundationAmerisourceBergenMSDWHO AFROChemonics & Microsoft. The first cohort of 31 companies has been selected and will be supported to foster resilient and efficient health supply chains across Africa.

Finally in June, we published a report on the landscape, barriers and opportunities for healthtech and contraceptive care in Francophone Africa, with a focus on Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Senegal. The discussion document described our findings and tackled questions around the growth of health tech in these countries.

In November, we kicked off new work to design a mechanism to offer demand-driven support to regulatory agencies in priority Anglophone and Francophone African countries as they establish and implement regulatory and policy guidelines that enable direct-to-consumer access to essential health commodities (including contraceptives) via e-pharmacies.

In December, the Investing in Innovation program hosted its first Access to Markets event focused on enabling partnerships for the 31 African healthcare supply chain start-ups in the first cohort. The event featured 50+ institutional partners across government, industry and donors who held over 200 partnership-focused meetings with innovators during the three-day event.

We’re excited to do more in 2023!

Meet Africa’s women leaders in health supply chains

Ola Brown, founder of Flying Doctors (Nigeria), Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder of Lifebank (Nigeria), Yasmin Chandani, CEO of InSupply Health (Kenya) as well as Rasha Rady and Doaa Aref, co-founders of Chefaa (Egypt) were included in Supply Chain Africa‘s high-powered shortlist of 30 women leaders of supply chain businesses.

New Year, new funding support for health innovators

Eight Medical, a Nigerian emergency medical services provider, raised $200,000 in equity and venture-building support from Catalyst Fund, a pre-seed venture capital fund and accelerator. Eight Medical provides on-demand, urgent medical care to users, plugging existing gaps in emergency care in Africa’s largest country.

EHA Clinics, a Nigeria-based primary healthcare provider, raised $300,000 in debt funding from Stanbic IBTC, in collaboration with eha Impact Ventures. The funding will facilitate expansion with two new in-person clinics estimated to provide care to an additional 60,000 people per year. EHA Clinics also provides services through digital channels, including telemedicine consultations as well as online pharmacy operations.

MyHealth Africa, a Kenya-based healthtech start-up, raised $1 million in a seed round led by GIIG Africa Fund with participation from Japanese-based Samurai VC and existing investors. MyHealth Africa enables patients find and book in-person or virtual appointments with health specialists and hospitals. The start-up currently provides this service in five African countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda & Tanzania – and is aiming for expansion.

Deepening access to maternal care in Kenya

Butterfly Network has completed the first phase of its deployment of handheld, whole-body ultrasound devices to health workers in Kenya to improve maternal and fetal health. Supported by a $5 million grant from the Gates Foundation, Butterfly Network distributed 500 devices, and trained 514 health workers. The first phase of the deployment and additional training for health workers will ensure that 200+ public health facilities across eight Kenyan counties have the tools and technical capacity required to rapidly increase access to pregnancy ultrasound scans and improve maternal health outcomes.

Recommended Read

COVID-19 pandemic was a major boon for African healthtech innovation and start-ups with a spike in adoption of digital health solutions but how are things changing as pandemic-driven adoption rates start to slow down?  This Techpoint piece share analysis with insights from leading African healthtech founders.

We’re Hiring

Salient is looking for a new Director, Client Services to join our leadership team, and drive the execution of innovative, influential, and high-impact client projects. Fit the bill or know someone who does? We’d love to hear from you!

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

Happy New Year!

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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