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.

Tanzania Getting A Boost From A New Partnership For Maternal Health Emergency Transportation System

At the USAID “Democracy Delivers” event held in conjunction with the UN General Assembly, the government of Tanzania, Vodafone Foundation, and USAID pledged to develop a maternal health emergency transportation system that now ensures hospital transportation for thousands of Tanzanian women. Samia Suluhu Hassan, the president of Tanzania, requested a cooperation to extend this initiative across the entire nation. In response, USAID and the Vodafone Foundation pledged $15 million, with $10 million coming from the Vodafone Foundation and $5 million from USAID. Vice President Philip Mpango, who was the government of Tanzania’s representative at the event, pledged to pay for all transportation expenses as well as to provide dispatch personnel right away.Through such initiatives, the program’s reach will be expanded from two districts, which are home to around 1 million people, to Tanzania’s 60 million inhabitants.

In to replicate this model in other sub-Saharan African countries with high rates of maternal mortality, Vodafone Foundation further pledged an additional $5 million, bringing its total investment to $15 million. To replicate Tanzania’s successes elsewhere, USAID will explore further into opportunities to collaborate with the Vodafone Foundation.

Vodafone Foundation and USAID developed a free ride-sharing programme for expectant mothers as part of a 2013-2020 maternal health programme in the Sengerema/Buchosa and Shinyanga districts. In accordance with the programme, a woman experiencing a maternal emergency dials a toll-free number, a health worker takes down her information, and a dispatcher uses that information to find the closest hospital and private taxi driver. The driver is paid when the patient is delivered to the health centre. The initiatives, which cost less than the cost of one ambulance and have transported more than 15,000 women and newborns to date, are now fully funded by the local governments in both pilot areas.

Joakim Reiter, Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer at Vodafone and Trustee of a Vodafone Foundation, announced a commitment as part of a panel discussion on how businesses and foundations can work with developing democracies that was hosted by Administrator Power, who also announced USAID’s commitment.

Africa’s potential pharmaceutical hub: Rwanda

The pharmaceutical industry is paying attention to Rwanda, which is quickly becoming a focal point of African attempts to improve regulatory harmonisation, increase access to and cost of medications, and develop a sustainable domestic pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing industry.

The Rwandan government has a goal of developing their nation into a regional centre for the manufacture and delivery of vaccines and medications throughout the continent of Africa. It has carefully positioned Rwanda as a major player in the continent’s pharmaceutical and vaccine production technology in recent years.

In terms of developing its pharmaceutical industry, Rwanda has achieved considerable strides throughout time. The Rwanda Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was established by law in 2018. Its explicit mission is to safeguard public health by policing drugs for humans and animals, vaccinations, and medical equipment.

The foundation of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation (APTF) in Rwanda was authorised by the African Development Bank in June 2022 with the goal of bolstering the continent’s pharmaceutical sector, as well as its industrial and healthcare facilities. The collaboration between Rwanda and numerous regulatory agencies from EU member states was also announced in June by the EU. Following this declaration, a groundbreaking ceremony for Kigali’s first mRNA vaccines facility, which is being developed by the German company BioNTech, took place.

The African Medicines Agency (AMA), which seeks to synchronise the regulatory frameworks for pharmaceutical products throughout Africa, received approval from the African Union’s Executive Council in July 2022 to set up its headquarters and secretariat in Rwanda.

In order to boost the workforce capability of Africa’s pharmaceutical business, Bloom Public Health, an African public health think tank organisation, is planning the development of the African Pharmaceutical Academy (APA) in Rwanda in July 2022.

The APTF, AMA, and APA will assist the regional pharmaceutical market on the continent and improve Africa’s pharma sector’s ability to compete internationally.

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.

Tanzania: Health Sector Makes Headway

Kilimanjaro — The government is making major headways in improving the health sector-key to human development after the launch of the new level three state-of-the-art public laboratory at Kibong’oto Infectious Diseases Hospital in Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region.

Inaugurated by Vice-President Philip Mpango, the facility will play a crucial role in curbing spread of infectious diseases in the country, and thus, improve the economy and wellbeing of the people.

Installation of the facility is part of strategies by the government of Tanzania to improve health care in the country through the Third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III) spanning between 2021/2022 and 2025/2026.

The plan is being implemented under a theme; “Realising Competitiveness and Industrialisation for Human Development.”

In implementing the FYDP III, the government seeks to strengthen health management systems, service availability and delivery by improving infrastructures, professionals, medical equipment and supplies, reagents, medicines, curative and preventive care, and health insurance in the realm.

FYDP III also prioritises the resolution of quality challenges in health service and this is what the government seeks to achieve after undertaking major upgrade at the Kibong’oto Infectious Diseases Hospital.

The laboratory in question is used to study infectious agents or toxins that may be transmitted through the air and cause potentially lethal infections. Researchers perform all experiments in a biosafety cabinet.

Speaking before Dr Mpango, the government’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Prof Abel Makubi, elaborated that the laboratory was constructed in two phases at a total cost of 12.5bn/-.

According to Prof Makubi, the facility will provide services such as diagnosis and follow-up on detection of infectious and epidemic diseases which have been outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In addition, the new lab will be used to make close follow-up of bacteria which have been resistant to drugs being used to treat various diseases and determine the quantity of drugs in the human body.

Prof Makubi elaborated that the facility will be used for research purposes and innovation on medical science in prevention of infectious and epidemic diseases through invention of new medicines, reagents, medical equipment and vaccines.

“The other importance of the laboratory is storage of bacteria of various diseases and their genetics, which will be used for training of diagnostic investigations and innovation for medical experts,” he explained.

With the above-mentioned functions, Prof Makubi was highly upbeat that the new facility will improve health services and reduce costs, which have been incurred by the government for transporting samples abroad for diagnosis.

The CMO stated that the idea to procure and install the new laboratory dates back to the year 2016, when the Ministry of Health prepared a proposal for establishment of the facility at the Kibong’oto Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Prof Makubi said the project was among others intended to upgrade the Kilimanjaro-based health facility from a national referral hospital for Tuberculosis (TB) to national hospital for specialised diagnosis and treatment of all infectious diseases.

The health facility was formerly known as Kibong’oto National Tuberculosis (TB) Hospital. It was established in 1926 as a TB sanatorium.

During implementation of the FYDP II plan, the number of health facilities in the country has increased from 7,014 in 2015 to 8,783 in December 2020.

The government constructed 1,198 new Dispensaries, 487 Health Centres, 99 District Council Hospitals and 10 Referral Hospitals in Geita, Katavi, Simiyu, Njombe, Songwe and Mwanza in addition to Shinyanga, Singida, Manyara, Arusha and Mara regions.

Through the plan, the government is as well constructing three Zonal Referral Hospitals namely the Southern Highlands Zone Referral hospital in Mbeya, Southern Zone Referral Hospital in Mtwara and Lake Zone Referral Hospital in Geita.

The government has also completed rehabilitation of ward number 18 (Sewa Haji) and construction of wards for private patients at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam.

Construction of emergency services building and renovation of X-Ray building at Dodoma Referral Hospital has also been completed, and work for Uhuru Hospital in Dodoma has reached 98.2 per cent.

Through the said interventions, performance of key health indicators such as maternal mortality, neo-natal mortality and under-five mortality have been declining at an encouraging rate.

Under-five mortality rate has declined from 67 per 1,000 live births in 2015/16 to 50 per 1,000 live births in 2019/20.

Tanzania has continued to be one of the leading countries in Africa in vaccinating children under one year. In 2019/20, 98 per cent of all children under-one-year-old were vaccinated compared to 82 per cent in 2015/16, thus exceeding the 90 per cent target set by WHO.

Also, during 2019/20, 81 per cent of all pregnant women made four or more visits at antenatal clinics compared to 39 per cent in 2015/16 implying that more pregnant women receive quality care and advice on safe birth control methods.

The number of pregnant women giving birth at health facilities increased from 64 per cent in 2015/16 to 83 per cent in 2019/2020.