Germans placing their bets in Kenya’s Healthcare Industry
By Rolex Owino
German leading pharma-company Boehringer Ingelheim, also a global pharmaceutical leader, has announced the launch of the ‘In Reach Africa’ program, an initiative aimed at facilitating quality and innovative human and animal healthcare access across the African continent.
The program is set to kick off in Kenya and to expand throughout major African markets including Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda. It comprises a range of key elements, with the overriding aim being to add more value to comprehensive health systems – in an effort to drive access to a multitude of healthcare services, the development of innovative healthcare solutions, creating community based partnerships and raising awareness around key ailments, as well as prevention mechanisms. These key initiatives are enabled through a significant partnership between MMH (Making More Health) Kenya, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka supported iSikCure – an application developed to improve access to quality care and safe medicine.
In 2017, Boehringer Ingelheim, in partnership with Access Afya and PharmAccess, launched Akiba Ya Roho, a micro-savings program geared towards driving more healthcare awareness and overall understanding and management of non-communicable diseases in some rural areas of Kenya.
A series of activities and workshops that are the building blocks of the newly launched program already started in July (2018), for example, as evidenced by the Making More Health (MMH) Accelerator program. This program supports social health entrepreneurs to strengthen and scale their work, by bringing some of the best experiences in social and health innovation, as well as global health – to improve healthcare access across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Empowering individuals is a core part of the initiative’s strategy and the fundamental element throughout the – ‘In Reach Africa’ programme.
MMH is a long-term global initiative driven by Boehringer Ingelheim, in partnership with Ashoka, a global non-governmental organisation.
“In Reach Africa shares a vision of driving accessibility, sustainability and innovation through enhancing health systems in Africa by providing an accessible range of medication and healthcare solutions, increasing awareness of key disease priorities through reach and enriching knowledge and education initiatives. In doing so, it is designed to add more value to the socio-economic structure by working with and supporting low income families on multiple fronts,” said Yew Looi Liew, Head of Corporate Division Prescription Medicine Emerging Markets at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Reducing the avoidable burden caused by Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is central to the initiative. NCDs are a stealthy epidemic in low and middle-income countries, which account for 75% of global health-related deaths. Africa is expected to experience 3.9 million NCD-related deaths a year by 2020, a rise of more than 20%. “Accordingly, we need to commit ourselves as an organisation to working together with all other healthcare players to build an infrastructure that is sustainable, and one, which can ensure needed therapies are available in even the most remote areas. At Boehringer Ingelheim, we believe that everyone should have access to good health, no matter where they live,” commented Enrique Manzoni, Regional Managing Director – Middle East, Turkey, Africa (META) at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & The Exchange.