UK and Kenya expanding a five-year agreement on the ambitious Strategic Partnership

The African Development Fund (ADF) is receiving extra financing from the UK to aid the continent’s communities in developing their economies, generating jobs and enhancing healthcare.

On his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa since becoming Foreign Secretary, the Foreign Secretary will reaffirm the funding in Kenya as a crucial tenet of the UK’s honest, dependable investment offer.

In a $9 billion overall foreign financing package for the ADF over the next three years, the UK will provide £650 million, giving African nations access to high-impact and affordable financing. Included in this are the £200 million dollars given to the ADF’s new Climate Action Window, which was unveiled during COP27.

With the UK financing, the continent will gain access to power for about 20 million people, better sanitation for over 30 million people, and the creation of over 2.3 million new employment. On the African continent, the fund provides assistance to 37 of the most fragile nations.

Foreign Secretary remarked Working with our friends and allies in Africa is something we appreciate greatly. We all gain from these kinds of connections. The UK provides trustworthy, ethical investment that does not add to debt burdens for nations but instead unleashes enormous potential for economic progress while enhancing global well-being and combating climate change.

The UK’s contribution to the African Development Bank demonstrates our dedication to the region over a lengthy period of time. When we travel together, we shall go far.

In order to assist the growth of the green economy and the creation of jobs throughout Africa, the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and British International Investment (BII), a UK-based development finance institution, will sign a new risk-sharing agreement.

The arrangement would make $150 million in accessible financing available for small and medium-sized businesses, which is anticipated to enable up to 17,300 loans for companies across Africa. 25% of the loans will be underwritten by BII and 25% by AGF.

The Rwandan government and Zipline are partners for drone delivery

The Rwandan government and the American robotics and logistics company Zipline have partnered to establish new distribution facilities in both urban and rural areas of the nation.

For the first time, a government and Zipline are collaborating to offer a national drone service.

By 2029, the collaboration will enable Rwanda to make close to 2 million same-day deliveries and fly more than 200 million autonomous kilometres.

The country will employ Zipline to bolster its healthcare supply chain, fight malnutrition, and help its ecotourism economy, according to Rwanda Development Board CEO Clare Akamanzi.

It will ship food, medication, medical equipment, and animal health goods to Rwanda.

The first location of Zipline’s operations was Rwanda.

In order to develop a commercial drone delivery service for Rwanda in 2016, Zipline teamed up with the government of that nation. Zipline’s drones are being used to send blood products to 20 hospitals and health facilities across the country.

It is already in use in Ghana, the US, Nigeria, and Japan, and it will soon be available in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire as well.

In the previous year, the company increased both the amount of deliveries and its operational reach.

A new initiative to create diagnoses in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Didida project, which stands for Digital Innovations and Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases in Africa, unites 14 partners from eight nations: Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Italy.

It is supported by money of €2 million (£1.75 million) from the UK Research and Innovation fund and €6 million (£5.2 million) from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme.

The project’s goal is to establish a graduate programme in Sub-Saharan Africa with a cohort of 16 PhD students from various fields, such as social science, healthcare economics, and digital technologies. This new generation of researchers will be given the resources they need by cohort events to help advance the fight against illnesses in Africa.

The students will be a part of a team that develops solutions to enhance patients’ access to healthcare in underserved rural areas with limited resources by utilising mobile diagnostics and digital medicine.

The Didida team will improve diagnostic tools for infectious diseases in rural regions over the following five years, drawing on prior research and development collaborations spearheaded by the university’s James Watt School of Engineering.

With assistance from local researchers and the government, Glasgow researchers have already created prototypes of the system to diagnose diseases like malaria and schistosomiasis and field-tested them in Uganda.

By offering a straightforward, affordable mobile autonomous diagnostic tool that can diagnose various illnesses, including malaria, in a single session, Didida will build on that research and enable better patient care.

With the help of Professor Frances Mair of the University of Glasgow’s School of Health & Wellbeing, who has expertise in the use of digital wearables for monitoring co-morbidities, it will also relate these disorders to non-communicable diseases like diabetes or hypertension.

It will be possible to access top-notch diagnostic assays in places with limited health infrastructure by connecting the test to mobile phones.

Health professionals will have access to the gathered data to directly recommend treatments to patients, and they will also gain from regional data to help local decision-making. Each technology is built on open-source, transparent, and simple-to-deploy solutions, like m-Health for the mobile data application and the DHIS2 health data infrastructure that is already in place.

The project will capitalise on Sub-Saharan Africa’s advantages in mobile payment and health services, which reach millions of people. Didida will rely on the expertise of reputable operators to carry out the project’s digital component.

In order to gather and process test data in Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, the consortium intends to put into place the first platforms within the continent’s health infrastructures.

Over $6 million invested by the African Development Fund to expand the pharmaceutical industry in Eastern and Southern Africa.

In November, 2022 in Abidjan, the Board of Directors of the African Development Fund, the organisation that handles the African Development Bank Group’s ( concessional loans, approved a grant of $6.63 million to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) for the development of the pharmaceutical industry in the sub-region.

The project is institutional assistance for the growth of the region’s pharmaceutical industry, and it will be carried out over a three-year period (2023–2025). The capacity of pharmaceutical regulatory organisations, product quality control and management systems, and research and development organisations will be strengthened in particular. The goal is to produce and market safe, high-quality pharmaceuticals for Covid-19 and other illnesses.

The sub-regional body will benefit from the project’s assistance in implementing continental strategies on pharmaceutical production, as well as in streamlining and harmonising the processes for registering new drugs. It will also ensure that essential medical supplies and technologies are available. Additionally, a portal for information will be developed for pharmaceutical makers, importers, and exporters.

Public organisations that are directly involved in the development of the pharmaceutical business, such as national drug regulatory agencies, quality control labs, local training programmes for pharmacists, universities and research facilities, will gain directly from the project.

According to Leila Mokaddem, director general of the African Development Bank for Southern Africa, “the goal is to empower them to help the pharmaceutical sector so that they can make safe vital medicines locally for the needs of the population, especially women and children.”

Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are among the 21 nations that make up the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Zanzibar’s capacity for critical care getting boost from WHO

In order to increase the accessibility of medical oxygen in critical care units in Zanzibar, the World Health Organization in Tanzania supplied oxygen concentrators and related accessories. The oxygen concentrators and other supplies for the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) were delivered by the Acting WHO Country Representative, Dr. Zabulon Yoti, to the Honourable Hassan Khamis Hafidh, Deputy Minister of Health for Zanzibar. The assistance, valued at more over TZS 184,000,000/- (USD 97,310.30), is intended to enhance EOC operations on the Island and oxygen delivery to intensive care units.

This donation is a continuation of WHO’s assistance to the health authorities in determining the nation’s needs for oxygen supply and formulating strategies to expand the availability of oxygen and medical devices related to oxygen.

The single oxygen production facility in Zanzibar, according to a WHO-supported national evaluation, needs repair in order to resume full production. Due to this constraint, hospitals in Zanzibar were forced to purchase medical oxygen at high cost from commercial sources. Zanzibar has subsequently been able to resume producing medical oxygen at its single facility at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital thanks to technical and financial support from WHO.

Dr. Yoti stated, “We are dedicated to working with the Government of Zanzibar to enhance various capacities required for greater access to high quality healthcare services and the capacity to foresee and address emergencies.

The World Health Organization was thanked for providing timely assistance to the Zanzibari people, and the Deputy Minister of Health promised them that the equipment and supplies would be used as intended after accepting the donation.

“Our partnership with WHO has been and continues to be crucial in the development of our health system. The technology we receive today will advance ongoing pandemic response activities, particularly in the areas of risk communication and community involvement, critical care for COVID-19 patients, and patient care. Zanzibar will be better able to fulfil its IHR duties with this timely support, according to Hon. Hafidh.

The Butterfly Network expands ultrasound probe deployment to 500 probes in Kenya.

To improve access to and the quality of mother and fetus health assessments, Butterfly Network has given 500 of its Butterfly iQ+ ultrasound devices to medical professionals in Kenya.

The only hand-held, whole-body ultrasound probe in the world will be provided to 1,000 healthcare professionals—mostly midwives—in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of a $5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that was announced earlier this year.

Kenyatta University, another collaborator in the project together with the Global Ultrasound Institute and Jamf, hosted a ceremony. There, local expectant women who received their first ultrasound exams underwent on-site training using the solution.

Many people in the world do not have access to medical imaging equipment or training, which places restrictions on what can be done in terms of determining a patient’s health and risk as well as the risk to the community at large. We are altering that with Butterfly,” said Darius Shahida, chief strategy and business development officer at Butterfly Network.

The Global Ultrasound Institute will teach 50 practitioners in obstetric ultrasound, and by the end of the year, it will have trained 500. Through this, more than 50 facilities in underserved rural areas will gain access to ultrasound technology.

In order to protect patient privacy, Jamf’s software will secure the devices with permission and restriction settings, a quick login procedure, and express scan mode.

“It is essential for mother and the fetus health in Kenya to increase access to medical imaging technology. According to Dr. Kevin Bergman, co-founder and CEO of the Global Ultrasound Institute, “tailored training that hundreds of healthcare providers got through this deployment is equally as vital to extended access.

The remedy uses the first and only whole-body ultrasound-on-chip technology in the world, which can be used with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets to examine various body parts. It is also portable and run by hardware and software connected to the cloud through a mobile app.

Kenya will establish more type 1 diabetes clinics for children and adolescents.

To reach more kids and teenagers with the disease, Kenya is attempting to open more type 1 diabetes clinics.

The Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk will pay Sh2.4 billion over the course of the next three years to support the “Changing Diabetes in Children Project.”

The pancreas produces very little or no insulin in people with type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. Building healthcare personnel’ capacity will be prioritised.

The project seeks to provide children and adolescents with free access to human insulin and blood glucose monitoring technology, as well as medical and laboratory supplies.

The creation of a registry for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes is on the agenda.

Families of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes will receive education.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe stated that the program’s long-term goal is to develop ways to incorporate programme elements into the nation’s healthcare delivery system in addition to improving the lives of the children who are enrolled in the initiative.

Through enduring relationships and collaborations, the CS continued, “We want to utilise our various capabilities and strengths with a view to enhancing the well-being of persons living with diabetes in Kenya as well as improving diabetes care for children with type 1 diabetes in the country.”

In accordance with the collaboration, the Kenyan government would be required to see to it that type 1 diabetes is included in the national agenda for non-communicable diseases.

In order to organise and run the diabetic clinics and patient registry, Novo Nordisk will be expected to offer the necessary diagnostic, screening, and monitoring tools.

Additionally, it will be necessary to supply free human insulin to address type 1 diabetes treatment needs for kids, teens, and adults up to the age of 25 in the healthcare facilities funded by the project.

Additionally, the business will be expected to support awareness initiatives in cooperation with other stakeholders and healthcare professionals’ training in the management of type 1 diabetes.

It will assist in generating patient education materials for the CDiC Project and supporting the development of infrastructure in some diabetic clinics as determined by the Ministry of Health. It will also promote diabetes self-management education for kids, teens, and their families.

The United States Government Donates Life-Saving HIV Medicine

The distribution of life-saving HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment drugs provided by Americans began. These antiretrovirals will be distributed to 2,144 public health facilities across Kenya’s 47 counties. Following agreements between the US and Kenyan administrations, the present deliveries are doable. Antiretrovirals and other medical supplies are being imported, warehoused, and delivered in a timely manner by the two governments.

“The United States has fought HIV/AIDS with Kenyans for decades, and we are pleased of the results,” said Eric Watnik, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., of the US Embassy in Nairobi. “Medicines, equipment, and expertise donated by Americans have improved the lives of a generation of Kenyans and helped to manage the disease. We will continue to collaborate with the Kenyan government to achieve our shared objective of eliminating HIV/AIDS in Kenya.”

The grant will be distributed by the US government’s development agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with Kenya’s Ministry of Health. Approximately 300,000 packs of 90-day doses of Tenofovir/Lamivudine/Dolutegravir and 4,400 packs of 30-day supplies of Atazanavir/Ritonavir are included in the current donation.

The two governments are motivated to seek a long-term solution for continuous supplies of health commodities supplied by the United States, including building processes that will improve accountability. The US and Kenya will work together to improve and strengthen Kenya’s public health supply chain, as well as to adopt comprehensive internal and external controls, to ensure that all Kenyans continue to get life-saving pharmaceuticals in a reliable and transparent manner.

In the meantime, on behalf of USAID and the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, the Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS), a Christian not-for-profit organisation registered as a trust of the ecumenical partnership of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Christian Health Association of Kenya, will facilitate distribution.

The United States is Kenya’s top donor for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and it is dedicated to the health and safety of Kenya’s 1.2 million antiretroviral users.

African SMEs in the health sector to benefit from the Digital Finance Fund.

Medical Credit Fund (MCF), a non-profit fund primarily committed to funding small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) healthcare enterprises in Africa, has received a catalytic investment of Sh900 million from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Fund, according to Maarten Brouwer, the Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya, is focused at establishing new digital finance solutions to promote investments in African health infrastructure and improve access to high-quality basic healthcare.

Because health and development are inextricably linked, achieving universal health coverage will ensure that everyone, regardless of social position, has access to high-quality healthcare,” stated Amb. Brouwer.

Amb. Brouwer announced that the funds will save small and medium-sized healthcare companies that have poor infrastructure, limited means to invest in quality improvement, and difficulty accessing capital from commercial banks during the celebrations of the first loan disbursement within Medical Credit Fund 2.

Arjan Poels, Managing Director of Medical Credit Fund, noted that the infrastructure and equipment utilised in SMEs hospitals have an impact on the quality of treatment they provide to patients who visit their facilities.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of well-functioning health systems. MCF2 aims to promote equitable and high-quality healthcare by assisting clinics in improving the services they provide, according to Poels.

Poels went on to say that the MCF was founded on Kenya’s advanced mobile money ecosystem, which led the launch of its cash advance, a credit product aimed at improving access to capital for the health sector.

In his remarks, PharmAccess Foundation Country Director Kenya, Isaiah Okoth, noted that achieving Universal Health Coverage necessitates striking a balance between allowing residents to receive care without financial hardship and the availability of high-quality healthcare facilities.

MCF, according to Okoth, is using the potential of the mobile phone to increase access to quality healthcare in Africa by using digital loans. “During the epidemic, digital lending has proven critical, with Covid-19 increasing mobile money use and further lowering banks’ desire for SME credit,” Okoth added.

Most health institutions were on the verge of closure because they couldn’t get bank loans to bridge cash flow gaps or buy personal protective equipment (PPEs), according to the Foundation’s Country Director, who said that Cash Advance proved to be the solution due to its convenience and flexibility.

MCF was able to release Sh2.4 billion in 2020, and has been averaging Sh433 million per month in disbursements since the start of 2021, according to him.

Millicent Olulo Orera, MCF Regional Director Advocacy and Partnerships, stated, “We believe that better functioning healthcare markets are critical in attaining Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those connected to Universal Health Coverage.”

According to Olulo, the fund would begin operations in its present nations of operation, which include Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda, before expanding to additional countries.

Sori Lakeside Hospital in Homabay County was the first recipient of MCF 2, receiving Sh4.25 million from the Medical Credit Fund.

Helium Health to launch its full suite of products and services in Kenya.

The Nigerian startup Helium Health has announced the launch of its complete suite of products and services in Kenya and is now providing electronical medical records (EMR) and hospital management information (HMI).

Helium Health is the most popular solution for hospitals and clinics in West Africa, with over 300 health service providers and more than 5000 health care professionals in Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana. The product Electronic Medical Records/Hospital Management Information System (EMR/HMIS).

In May 2020 the company concluded a 10 million US dollars Series A financing round to extend its African footprint. In partnership with three local suppliers – including Philips Healthcare technology – it is now moving to East Africa with a Kenyan launch.

“We plan to expand to Kenya’s flourishing health-technology sector since last year and are therefore very excited that we will be working together with three new local partners in 2021 to help to improve efficiencies and better serve patients. It is our view that the opportunities to make use of cutting-edge technology to help enhance the collection and administration of health data throughout Africa is excellent,” said Tito Ovia, co-founder of Helium Health. We also want to be partnering with equivalent health care provider and facilities in Kenya.

Jean Kyula, Country Manager for Helium Health Kenya and a former NHS doctor in the United Kingdom, added, “We are confident that we can play a significant role in supporting both Kenya’s public and private healthcare sectors.” We are excited to announce that we are now open for business, with three new partners in Nairobi and plans to expand into Uganda and Liberia. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of technology in healthcare, as well as the need to continue building better systems, developing more remote access solutions, and improving efficiencies in our healthcare sector, so we look forward to working with more partners, doctors, hospitals, and clinics in the future.