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.

Africa to receive a new digital healthcare platform with an investment of $3 million

Easy access to primary healthcare is critical for early detection and treatment of health issues. Primary care is best given by groups of primary care professionals who work together to coordinate care. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, universal access to such care is limited.

Digital healthcare platforms have a significant chance to expand access to team-based care across the area. They have the potential to lower the cost of high-quality care while improving health outcomes, reach patients in rural locations, and relieve strain on established medical support systems.

Such forums have grown in popularity around the world as a result of the pandemic, and Africa is no exception. With its telehealth service, a new platform based in South Africa hopes to provide Africans with affordable, high-quality care. To that end, it has closed a $3 million pre-Series A investment.

Webrock Ventures is a venture-building investment firm situated in Stockholm, Sweden. So, in essence, the firm joins with Swedish IT companies and creates portfolio businesses by combining its cash with the companies’ business concepts. It does so while still owning a significant portion of the company.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, global telehealth investments have soared, increasing by more than 50%. With several of the world’s fastest-growing economies, investors and businesses are increasingly looking to Africa as a significant growth market for services in high demand.

A entirely new opportunity is created by forging a new alliance. Healthforce can use its current position to bring’s core technology to a new direct-to-patient market. Webrock, a willing investment machine set up to scale the platform, is in the backdrop.

The new company will use a freemium model to target the uninsured B2C market. On-demand and planned consultations with nurses, general practitioners, and mental health specialists are available through the site. It will be integrated with Healthforce’s broader primary care offering and will provide chronic care management.

The healthcare market in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be worth $90 billion. However, health insurance coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa is in the single digits (percentage-wise), with the exception of South Africa, which has 16 percent coverage. According to Kornik, the three parties aim to handle a big amount of the problem and are in agreement on how Africa’s healthcare system should look if it succeeds.

“This is a pure-play healthcare provider company. We will deliver high-quality healthcare at low cost to 75 million people through telemedicine through this pan-African enterprise, literally placing healthcare in the palm of their hands,” stated Saul Kornik, co-founder and CEO of Healthforce.

Tanzania makes Covid-19 statistics public for the first time in over a year

Tanzania has recorded 100 new Covid-19 cases since the third wave of the viral disease broke out across the globe, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Monday.
In her maiden press conference at State House in Dar es Salaam on Monday, President Hassan said 70 of the 100 patients were critical.
“About 70 are on ventilators,” she said.
It was the first time Tanzania was making made Covid-19 statistics public since May 2020.

The fifth phase administration of former President John Magufuli at some point denied the existence of Covid-19 in the country.
President Hassan has adopted a completely different approach to dealing with the pandemic since ascending to power on March 19, following following Magufuli’s death on March 17.
She said on Monday that as soon as she was sworn-in as President, she embarked on ways to adopt globally-accepted measures of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, including vaccination.

Vaccination budget

Meanwhile, the Tanzanian government says it will spend at least $470 million to purchase Covid-19 vaccines and bail out sectors that were severely hit by the pandemic.
President Suluhu made the announcement during her meeting with editors and journalists at the State House in Dar es Salaam.

The President further said Tanzania has registered for the Covax package and will therefore be ready to administer the vaccine doses in the near future.
“We have $470 million to order vaccines and equipment to use in the fight against coronavirus,” she said.
She added that vaccination will be voluntary to give citizens the opportunity to choose what is best for them.
The President did not name the vaccine the country will procure given many nations have developed jabs for the killer virus which brought global economies to their knees.
Recently, the government applied for a $571 million (about Sh1.3 trillion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it tackle economic challenges resulting from the pandemic.
Tabling the government’s Sh36.3 trillion 2021/22 budget in Parliament on June 10, the government said this was a low-interest loan aimed at tackling the social and economic impacts of Covid-19.
IMF officials in Dar es Salaam and Washington were quoted by Reuters as confirming talks on the matter, noting, however, that Tanzania would have to provide information on Covid-19.

Nigeria’s Helium Health launches health tech in Kenya

Helium Health, West Africa’s leading provider of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Hospital Management Information (HMI) Systems, has announced the debut of its entire array of products and services in Kenya for the first time.

Helium Health, in collaboration with three local providers, Philips Healthcare Technologies, Carepay, and Savannah Informatics, will integrate new services, including an EMR, to serve the whole East African market.

“We’ve been preparing to enter Kenya’s burgeoning health tech industry since last year, so we’re really thrilled to be getting started in 2021, already collaborating with three new local partners to assist increase efficiency and deliver better patient care. We feel there is a significant opportunity to use cutting-edge technology to enhance the way healthcare data is collected and managed across Africa, therefore collaborating with like-minded healthcare providers and institutions in Kenya is a good fit for us,” said Tito Ovia, co-founder of Helium Health.

“We are convinced that we can play a big role in aiding both Kenya’s public and commercial healthcare sectors,” said Jean Kyula, Country Manager for Helium Health Kenya and formerly a National Health Service (NHS) doctor in the UK. “We’re ecstatic to announce that we’ve opened for business in Nairobi, where we’re already cooperating with three new partners and expanding into Uganda and Liberia. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of technology in healthcare, as well as the need to continue developing better systems, more remote access solutions, and improving efficiencies in our healthcare sector, so we look forward to working with more partners, doctors, hospitals, and clinics as we move forward,” she added.

Helium Health successfully concluded a US$10 million Series A investment round in May 2020 (the highest fundraise of any SaaS healthcare company in Africa) to scale and grow the business in both existing and new countries, increasing its reach across East, North, and Francophone West Africa. Helium Health has previously worked with clinics in Uganda and Liberia, enrolling 90-plus users in early 2021, and is now expanding its services to Nairobi.

Helium Health provides a comprehensive array of solutions that span the whole healthcare value chain, from electronic medical records (EMR) and hospital management information (HMI) systems to credit and telemedicine. Helium Health’s technology is currently used by over 300 healthcare providers and 5,000 health professionals in Nigeria, Senegal, and Ghana, allowing healthcare facilities to easily accept payments and issue invoices, access quick funding, and hold televisits with their patients, making it easier for patients to get diagnosed from the comfort of their own homes.

Helium Health was awarded the IFC IT Emerge award in 2020, which connects creative health tech entrepreneurs with premier healthcare providers in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda to launch pilot initiatives and form long-term relationships. Helium Health’s technology will be tested in the East African market.

Afreximbank launches AMCE project in Nigeria

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced the start of its African Medical Centre of Excellence (AMCE) project in Abuja, Nigeria.

It will deliver world-class care to patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds across the continent.

The Bank recently formalised its long-term partnership with King’s College Hospital, London (KCH) on the project by signing an agreement naming KCH as the AMCE’s Clinical Partner.

The Abuja AMCE’s construction is set to commence in the fourth quarter of 2021, with completion slated for the first quarter of 2024. The African Medical Centre of Excellence will be built in four phases over the course of six years, beginning with a 170-bed specialised hospital and eventually extending to a 500-bed institution.

Following a competitive bidding procedure in which Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania all participated, Nigeria was chosen as the host nation for the first AMCE in 2017. A pre-feasibility study commissioned by Afreximbank and completed by KCH in 2015 identified the four nations as potential host countries.

“The establishment of the African Medical Centre of Excellence marks a turning point in the continent’s history. We are happy to be concretizing our goals through this project, which was designed as part of Afreximbank’s 5th Strategic Plan,” said Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank.

“With general care capabilities that will service the whole West African area and beyond, the Abuja AMCE will address the growing burden of communicable and noncommunicable illnesses. It is a pilot project that will inspire similar medical facilities across the continent.”

The AMCE intends to provide a comprehensive spectrum of medical services, including diagnostics, therapy, nuclear medicine, surgery, and post-surgical care, as well as complementary specialised services in oncology, haematological illnesses (including sickle cell and blood malignancies), and cardiovascular maladies.

“We are thankful for the considerable assistance from the Nigerian government and are delighted to have King’s College Hospital as our partners. We are excited to benefit from their world-class experience in medicine, medical research, and training,” Professor Oramah said.

The Abuja AMCE will not only improve access to healthcare for 50,000 people per year, but it would also create 3,000 employment throughout its development and operation.

As a result of the AMCE’s establishment, Afreximbank hopes to contribute to the provision of high-quality healthcare, expanded service offerings, training, increased employment, the preservation of foreign exchange in Africa, and the development of intra-African medical tourism.

Sir Hugh Taylor, Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, stated, “We have a long tradition of delivering specialised healthcare locally, nationally, and globally at King’s. We are pleased to be expanding our clinical knowledge in services such as haematology and cardiology to assist the people of Nigeria and Africa more broadly.”

Africa sees a $1.3 billion increase in healthcare investments

Africa’s healthcare faces many problems, ranging from inadequate infrastructure to a shortage of funding, but technology is changing healthcare delivery in the continent.

It is critical that Africa’s rapidly expanding young population, which is expected to be the world’s largest workforce by 2040, has access to high-quality healthcare in order to reap the rewards of this generational dividend.

For prospective buyers, these challenges offer a plethora of business opportunities. In Africa, the private sector is becoming increasingly significant in funding healthcare.

The healthcare sector in Sub-Saharan Africa has grown significantly in the last two decades, according to an AVCA survey. Between 2015 and 2020, 97 private equity (PE) and venture capitalist (VC) investments totaling US$1.3 billion were made in Africa’s healthcare sector.

Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, and Ghana are the top five countries in terms of the number of PE and VC fund contributions in healthcare in Africa between 2015 and 2020. Deals in the healthcare market accounted for 8% of overall transaction value in 2019 and 2020, demonstrating investors’ continuing commitment to closing the continent’s healthcare gap.

In 2020, Africa’s share of total reported deal value rose to 16% of total reported deal value, up from 3% in 2019. The overall amount of final closed PE & VC funds in Africa between 2015 and 2020 was US$18.1 billion. Half of this came from funds with healthcare as a focused industry in their investment mandate.

Nearly half of all healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa is provided by the private sector, and nearly 60% of the continent’s healthcare funding is provided by private sources.

When asked why healthcare investment is growing in Africa, Ugo Iwuchukwu, Brands and contact manager at Helium Health, said, “The situation with the latest investments into African healthcare is a melting pot of a lot of things.” For starters, it was unavoidable. Healthcare is an industry that concerns everybody, and it lags behind contemporary sectors like banking and even telecommunications in terms of technological advancement. Consider how you can make almost any trade online, but you can not do any healthcare operation online. As a result, it has always been a position where value could be added by all stakeholders.

“Second, the pandemic unintentionally shone a spotlight on the state of global healthcare, demonstrating what people like Helium have been saying: there is a lot of work to be done to develop not only Nigeria, but the whole global healthcare sector. As a result, what was already simmering prior to the pandemic gains traction.”

As more players come on board and technology is gradually being used to solve numerous healthcare issues around the continent, digital technology is becoming more prevalent in Africa’s healthcare market.

While investment in the healthtech sector is still in its infancy relative to other sectors such as fintech, the race has obviously started, and it will only be a matter of time before we see the fintech sector’s progress mirrored in healthcare across Africa.

Egypt’s Misr Capital launches a $380m healthcare investment platform

Misr Capital, Banque Misr’s investment arm, and Elevate Private Equity have unveiled Nile Misr Scan & Labs, a $380 million healthcare investment platform.

After seeding initial contributions Banque Misr’s cash pledge and Elevate Private Equity’s in-kind contribution to the platform, the platform managers hope to raise $150 million before the first closure in Q1 2022.

Elevate Private Equity has established a solid track record as the strategic manager of Nile Scan & Labs Co, achieving a 38 percent CAGR over the last four years, effectively making it the fastest growing healthcare entity in Egypt and the country.

Nile Misr Healthcare is built on the two partners’ strong investment and medical expertise, which will actively manage the fund strategy and acquire highly selective targets with high potential across healthcare verticals such as hospitals, diagnostic facilities, pharmaceuticals, medical education, and digital medical services in Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Responsible investments come at the top of Misr Capital’s priorities, particularly in sectors like healthcare that contribute to the society in which we operate,” said Akef El Maghraby, Chairman of Misr Capital and Vice Chairman of Banque Misr.

“Investing in healthcare not only brings meaningful, tangible benefits to society, but it also aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Target 3 and the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investments.”

Tarek Moharram, a healthcare veteran with over 14 years of experience leading, creating, and expanding medical institutions in Egypt, will lead the platform as CEO.

“This collaboration combines Elevate Private Equity’s technological and strategic capabilities with Misr Capital’s esteemed financial and investment track record, resulting in the formation of a forum that will aggressively seek M&A transactions in the extremely fragmented healthcare spaces around our target jurisdictions. Our long-term strategy is to create bigger, integrated institutions that offer robust, world-class healthcare to larger communities across Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa, while also having a positive effect on the broader economies and providing superior returns to investors,” he added.

“Most notably, the platform is founded on a comprehensive expertise set that includes veteran healthcare specialists, seasoned financial executives, and a deep line-up of established investors backed by Banque Misr, one of Africa’s oldest and most renowned banks,” he said.

Following the fulfillment of all requisite permits, the platform is scheduled to sign its first selling and purchasing agreement (SPA) within weeks. Misr Capital’s financial and tax advisors were Ernst & Young Egypt, and its legal advisors were Alliance Law Firm and Al Kamel Law Firm.

Nigeria gets $18.2m from Japan to boost the health-care system

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba announced that Nigeria has obtained a $18.2 million grant from Japan to improve its health sector. During his visit to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), he disclosed this knowledge.

He claimed that his visit was to evaluate the utilization of the N49 billion investment fund allocated by the federal government to 52 federal health institutions in the region, disclosing that the Japanese assistance will take the form of medical equipment and capacity building for medical staff.

According to the Minister, this assistance is made possible by President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 visit to the Japanese Prime Minister.

Mr Clem Agba said, “I just wanted to let you know that the Irrua Specialist Hospital and the UBTH, both in Edo, are among the seven beneficiaries of this grant.

“We also collaborate with USAID, and I signed agreements with them in which they provided us with 200 ventilators, of which I am aware that Irrua Specialist Hospital received three and the UBTH received three from the 200 ventilators that we distributed across the country,” he added.

The Minister stated that one of the COVID-19 revelations was the weakness of the Nigerian health system, which is why the FG graciously approved the N49 billion investment fund for 52 federal medical centers and teaching hospitals across the country.

He clarified that the fund was intended to help develop facilities in the sector in order to maintain the country’s health system’s stability.

Agba stated that the funds were set aside for the construction of molecular laboratories, as well as the provision of a minimum of ten bedded Intensive Care Units (ICU); isolation center appliances and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs); among others, in the 52 health establishments.

“This meant that each of the centers received approximately N950 million to buy the required facilities; as well as PPE for their labs, isolation centers, and ICUs,” he added.