Ethiopia and Japan Sign $13.6 Mn Grant Agreement to Help Ethiopia fight COVID

Ethiopia and Japan government signed a grant agreement of $13.6 million to help Ethiopia combat COVID-19. The grant will be used for the procurement of health and medical equipment, it was learned.

The grant will help provide radiography systems, portable ultrasound scanners, and other medical equipment to hospitals and medical universities throughout Ethiopia.

Signing the agreement were Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance, and Matsunaga Daisuke, Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia. On the occasion, Ambassador Daisuke remarked the grant will contribute to enhancing measures being taken on the fight against COVID-19 as well as other infectious diseases in Ethiopia.

The health sector is one of Japan’s priorities in terms of support for Ethiopia, and as a friend of this great country, it is a pleasure to be able to contribute to the health and well-being of the Ethiopian people, he said.

In addition to deepening the friendship of the people of Ethiopia and Japan, the grant will also strengthen the health care system in the country through the provision of health and medical equipment to hospitals and medical universities, Ambassador Daisuke pointed out, while reiterating Japan’s efforts to support Ethiopia in the face of the coronavirus.

The agreement signed is a continuation of the August 2019 Yokohama TICAD-7 commitment to expand universal health coverage, and the African health and well-being initiatives, the Embassy of Japan in Addis Ababa indicated.

Aga Khan Launches 345m Polyclinic Health Facility in Kibaha Tanzania

Resicdents of Kibaha District and its environs are expected to get better healthcare services, after the Aga Khan Health Services (Tanzania), opened a 345m/-facility.

It is the first Aga Khan Polyclinic Health Centre in the town which will enable citizens to access quality, safe and affordable services.

The Head of Primary Medical Center in Dar es Salaam, Coast and Eastern Zone, Mr Shakir Bandari said the Aga Khan has invested $ 150,000 (about 345m/-), to build a modern system of providing Radiology services (PACS) and access to specialists through electronic/network–tele consultation.

“It is encouraging to see the full participation of this Institute in the growth of the health sector in Tanzania, and especially in the Coast Region”.

“We are pleased to come here with the leadership of Aga Khan Health Institute in Tanzania as well as stakeholders and community representatives at the ward and local level, to officially open this first Aga Khan Polyclinic Health Center in Kibaha”.

Aga Khan Polyclinic at Kibaha is the 23rd facility to be opened in a period of six years in the Coast Region, they plan to add several other mini-clinics in the near future.

This centre will help to solve the challenges faced by the district, arguing that the availability of several services like Digital X- Ray, Ultrasound, laboratory, pharmacy, Pediatrics specialists, surgery and maternity as well as maternal and child health clinics, will be provided right there.

This Aga Khan Polyclinic Health Center in Kibaha is the institution’s commitment to provide and promote quality, affordable services by building facilities that reach district level and facilitating medical services for those in need through National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and other insurance service providers.

The centre will provide modern clinics with 24 hour services to enable residents access unlimited healthcare from qualified professionals.

The Aga Khan Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Sisawo Konteh told the Institution will continue to partner with the government through the Ministry of Health in implementing major $ 12million (about 27bn/-) maternal and child health projects signed in 2017-2021.

He also told that the projects have been implemented in eight districts of Mwanza region, with the aim of reducing maternal mortality, building the capacity of health care providers and improving delivery rooms and its infrastructure.

“With great collaboration from other institutions and the government, they will support the growth of quality health care in the workplace, capacity building as well as the use of medical equipment to help Tanzanians”.

Aga Khan Health Services (Tanzania) is celebrating 91 years since its inception in Tanzania and has continued to move quality health services to almost all Tanzanians through the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) guidelines

Rwandan Air Force to receive Caravan aircraft for medical evacuation

The Rwandan Air Force will take delivery of two Cessna Caravan aircraft, which will be used for medical evacuation and other tasks.

In September 2019 the United States issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the acquisition of medical evacuation (medevac) aircraft for Rwanda and on 24 June this year the Department of Defence announced that ATI Engineering Services of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, had been awarded a $10 million contract for Rwanda’s Grand Caravan EX acquisition.

“This contract provides the procurement of two Textron C-208 EX aircraft, associated spare parts and ground support equipment, the necessary modifications for the Rwandan Air Force, flight training device, technical drawings and interim logistic support for both aircraft and the training device,” the Department of Defence said.

Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Rockford, Illinois; and Kigali Air Force Base, Rwanda, and is expected to be completed by 31 July 2022. “This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Rwanda and is the result of a competitive acquisition with two offers received. Fiscal 2016 Peacekeeping Operations Overseas Contingency Operations funds in the amount of $9 030 923 is being obligated at the time of award.”

In its September 2019 RFP, the Department of Defence called for delivery of the first aircraft no later than June 2021, with the contract terminating in July 2022.

The US Air Force first announced that Rwanda was to receive two new aircraft for medical evacuation and light transport, primarily during United Nations international peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan. Rwanda’s first peacekeeping contribution was to Sudan (Unamid). According to the United Nations, Rwanda contributes more than 6 500 military and police officers to UN peacekeeping missions, including Unmiss (South Sudan), Minusca (Central African Republic), Unamid, Minujusth (United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti) and Unisfa (United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei).

The Rwandan Air Force has acquired few new aircraft in the last decade, having only upgraded some of its Mi-17s. Its most numerous type is the Mi-17, with more than 20 in service – some of these have been deployed with the United Nations in South Sudan (one crashed there in March 2019). Other types in service include several SA 342 Gazelles and half a dozen Mi-24 helicopters. The Rwandan government flies a single A109 and AW139 helicopter and a G550 business jet.

A Nigerian Medical Expert Invents Equipment To Detect COVID-19 Infected Lungs

US based Nigerian medical expert Dr. Samson Arigbamu has invented a stethoscope which is capable of immediately identifying adventitious lung such as COVID-19 infected lungs that would immediately announce its findings.
Dr. Samson Arigbamu in a mail to Vanguard Ibadan stated that this stethoscope is in production at prototype and optimisation stage, which the final product would commence by December. He said that the process could be expedited with resources from individuals, organisations or even the Nigerian government.

Dr. Arigbamu has been living in the USA for about 22 years and currently the Director of Nursing at Future Care Lochearn, a 200-bed capacity health rehabilitation centre in Baltimore Maryland. He has been on the employment of the company for 10 years, prior to that, he was a director of nursing at Manor Care Woodbridge in Baltimore Maryland currently he owns and operate a private clinic called Upsurge Health Associate in Freeland, Maryland.

Dr. Arigbamu said that the eventual production of the stethoscope would be a great achievement of pride to Nigeria government for the fact that a citizen of the country invented a critical medical equipment worthy of a USA patent, hence, soliciting support from Nigeria government. Arigbamu even said that having worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years, he had seen healthcare providers including nurses, mid-level providers and physicians struggle with identifying lung and heart sounds. As a result, chest x-rays, EKGs and other cardiac interrogative tests are often ordered to identify adventitious lung and heart conditions.

He also said that clinical issue with these expensive tests and devices is they are incapable of identify adventitious sounds and providing immediate and accurate feedback, consequently and utilization of such devices often result in significant clinical and health issues for the patients and even a waste of valuable resource.

“Due to such challenges, he started working on inventing a digital stethoscope that could identify lung and heart sounds, interpret the sounds and immediately announce its findings to the users.” The stethoscope is also capable of integrating its data into the electronic medical record. With this capabilities, it will enhance physical assessment vital to health care providers and novice users. It will also ensure opportunities for timely intervention and prevention of further health decline in patients.

“This stethoscope is also equipped with an electronic medical record (EMR), integration capabilities (essential to telemedicine) to improve care coordination and patient information portability.” The project received a USA patent and is currently in the prototype phase of production in the USA and Ukraine. The invention of the stethoscope would be a great achievement of pride to Nigeria as a citizen of the country invented such critical medical equipment worthy of a USA patent.

Ghana to Construct New Health Facilities in Ashanti and Eastern regions

The government of the Republic of Ghana is all set to construct new health facilities in Ashanti and Eastern regions following the approval of a €56,153,500 loan by the West African country legislative body for the implementation of the project.

Provided by the Deutsche Bank AG, world’s one of the leading financial service providers, the loan will partly cater for the construction of trauma hospitals in Obuasi and Ayinam. The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said that the scope of work for the trauma hospitals include the construction works of features such as accident and emergency department, a male theatre, public health department, out-patient department, amongst others.

The loan will also facilitate the construction of an accident and emergency center at the Enyiresi Hospital, and a rehabilitation center at the Obuasi Health Centre as well as finance the provision of medical equipment and ancillary services to ensure that the facilities are fully operational and serving their purpose.

The projects are planned to be undertaken in a course of three years by local companies under engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractual basis.

According to Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, the Anyinam region does not have a single major hospital and the existing Obuasi Health Centre is both ill-equipped and inadequate to meet the health needs of the growing population of the catchment area.

Upon completion, the new health facilities he said will bring quality healthcare to the doorstep of residents of beneficiary communities and boost the healthcare sector of the entire country.

The project is a part of the government’s commitment to the provision of universal health in line with the Sustainable Development Goal.

Nigeria Receives Medical Equipment’s From ECOWAS

Government of Nigeria received essential medical equipment from ECOWAS Commission, through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) as part of the regional response strategy. The event, which took place in Nigeria, Abuja, flags off the series of hand overs which will cover the entire region and boost the collective effort aimed at managing and curtailing the spread of the deadly virus.

With the active support of the German government through its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BMZ, the development agency-Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, and well as bank- Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, KfW, the collaborative effort delivered 12,800 goggles, 294,000 small, medium and large gloves, 23,220 small, medium and large gowns, 8,190 coverall and 1,600 face shields. Other items were 12, 000 masks, 10,000 surgical masks, 5,000 sanitizers, 40,512 diagnostic test kits and two each of ventilators and ventilator trolleys.

A statement by the ECOWAS Commission said that the President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Kassi Brou expressed the appreciation of ECOWAS to all the partners in the fight against COVID-19, which has enabled a measure of progress. President Brou particularly thanked the president of Nigeria and regional champion on COVID-19, Muhammadu Buhari, for the leadership and support provided including logistics back up to aid the distribution of the items to other ECOWAS Member States.

He alsop stated that the materials donated will go a long way in the fight against COVID-19 bearing in mind the sustenance of the collective and coordinated regional efforts in ensuring the health and wellbeing of West African citizens are guaranteed.

The Director-General of WAHO, Professor Stanley Okolo, said that the handover of the critical medical equipment is part of the larger efforts at flattening the COVID-19 curve. He noted that as the collaboration of partners for a common goal is yielding desired fruits, it has become even more imperative for the populations to get into the habit of behavioural change adjustments.

Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that the public health institution of the Nigerian Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, as well as the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 were set up to lead the whole of government response strategy and determine non-pharmaceutical measures to ensure the safety of citizens. He said that the country’s health workers who are toiling assiduously to treat COVID-19 patients, provide emergency care, while not losing sight of routine and essential health services needed the support and encouragement of all.

The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Sani Aliyu, as well as the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the coordinator of the Presidential Task Force for Nigeria, Olusegun Adekunle all corroborated Minister Ehanire in calling for concerted efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Besides the funders the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is also collaborating with WAHO in the area of procurement.

Ethiopia donates $300,000 worth Medical Equipment to Djibouti

Ethiopia donated more than $300,000 worth medical equipment to neighboring Djibouti to help smallest horn African nation fight COVID-19 pandemic. Djibouti has so far reported more than 5000 cases of coronavirus as the worst hit horn African nation

Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Redwan Hussein handed over the medical supplies to Djibouti’s Minister of Health in a ceremony held at Djibouti Ambouli International Airport. During the handing over ceremony, Redwan said the donation is a testimony to the strategic partnership between the two countries that stands the taste of time.

Noting that the coronavirus pandemic can not be overcome by a single country alone, Redwan stressed that it is indispensable to jointly work with all neighboring countries to effectively mitigate and contain the scourge.

As neighboring countries, Ethiopia and Djibouti need to reinforce strong solidarity in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and shore up their collaboration in health sectors, Redwan added.

Mohammad Ali Yesuf extended his gratitude for Ethiopia on behalf of the Government and people of Djibouti.

Ethiopia extended the same to neighboring Somalia amid complaints by its health professionals over shortage of protective equipment COVID-19 locally.

Vihiga Receives Sh36m Medical Equipment From Kenya

Health services are set to improve after the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) under the Universal Health Care (UHC) programme delivered to Vihiga County a consignment of drugs and non-pharmaceuticals worth Sh.36 million.

An elated Governor Dr. Wilber Ottichilo, accompanied county government officials including his Deputy Dr. Patrick Saisi and County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health Dr. Amos Kutwa, flagged off the drugs to various health facilities at the County headquarters in Mbale town.

The brief flagging off ceremony was also graced by Mr. Charles Ouma, KEMSA representative. Speaking at the event, Governor Ottichilo expressed gratitude to the National Government through the Ministry of Health for what he described as continued support toward enhancement of the county health sector.

“Since I took over power in 2017 we have developed a better working partnership with the Ministry of Health,” observed Ottichilo. The governor noted it was due to the good relationship that Vihiga was now among top counties to receive supplies from KEMSA this year, unlike in the past. He exuded confidence the partnership would grow even stronger.

“This time we are on number two after Lamu County to receive drugs and accompanying non-pharmaceuticals from KEMSA under the Universal Health Care programme,” said Ottichilo who thanked the county health technical team for closely working with KEMSA for realization.

The county boss further hailed the UHC for enabling the recruitment of 167 health workers, among them nurses, who are set to join the county health department. “We really appreciate all these efforts, which are geared toward boosting provision of health services to Vihiga County residents,” stated Ottichilo.

Ottichilo reaffirmed his administration’s full support to health workers who are on the frontline as the world fights the novel Covid-19 pandemic that continues to claim live. “I am happy to announce the finance department is processing our health workers risk allowances to the tune of Sh. 28 milion,” he disclosed.

The governor urged the locals to continue adhering to health protocols currently in force in order to curb spread of the contagious coronavirus in the county. Deputy Governor appealed to the county health staff to put the medical supplies to prudent use for the benefit of Vihiga residents. On his part, Health CEC Dr. Kutwa appreciated the role played in developing the county health system. He revealed the department was in the process of recruiting about 440 Community Health Workers (CHWs) through the Universal Health Care. Ouma urged the people of Vihiga to continue supporting the governor and his team for better service delivery across all sectors.

Pharmaceutical Supplier Shelf Life Raises US$3.6 Million Equity In Africa

Shelf Life is a revolutionary pharmaceutical inventory management subscription service launched in Abuja in 2017 and has expanded to Kenya. Within that time, through their business model of supplying pharmaceutical products to community-based outlets, it has received widespread acceptance.

The service, provided by social enterprise Field Intelligence, is active in 50 retail locations in Kenya, with over 500 life-saving medicines and essential products being supplied on a pay-as-you-sell basis. In Kenya, there are about 5,840 privately-owned community pharmacies licensed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, compared to approximately 4,700 government health facilities.

With the concept gaining popularity, Field Intelligence has been seeking to raise funds to expand to more shops both in Kenya and Nigeria. To this front, the company has announced the successful closing of its Series a funding of US$3.6 million equity.

The US$3.6 million equity raise will fund the scale-up of Shelf Life, the technology-enabled supply chain finance platform for pharmacies in Africa. The Series A funding round was led by Blue Haven Initiative-early-stage private equity firm with a focus on energy, fintech, logistics and human capital ventures in Sub Saharan Africa, with a portfolio that includes CrossBoundary Energy, M-KOPA, Paystack, Shortlist and Twiga Foods.

Other investors including Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund and Accion Venture Lab.

Michael Moreland, Co-Founder, and CEO, Field Intelligence, says, “We’re delighted to welcome new investors into the business. They share our vision for catalyzing change in a huge and vitally-important sector. They bring deep fintech and logistics experience, which will be vital in helping us build a new generation of healthcare supply chains in Africa and beyond.”

Shelf Life’s pharmacy clients can subscribe to over a thousand quality-assured and price-stabilized drugs from 50 medical, health and wellness categories. Using Field Intelligence’s technology platform, Shelf Life forecasts, procures, delivers, manages, and finances each product the pharmacy has subscribed to.

Over 280 community pharmacies in Nigeria and Kenya have now subscribed to Shelf Life, making it one of the largest networks of pharmacies on the continent. It is making the business of community pharmacy less risky and lower-cost while improving access to an expanded selecion of higher-quality medicines.

Since inception, Shelf Life has maintained 96% stock availability for its clients, up from a pre-Shelf Life baseline of 60%. As an alternative to traditional inventory finance, Shelf Life costs pharmacies between 60 and 82% less than traditional loans freeing these small retailers from prohibitively expensive capital.

Advisory support to this transaction was provided by CrossBoundary through USAID’s invest program funded by the USAID Southern and East Africa Regional Missions in support of the US Government’s Prosper Africa initiative.

The annual pharmaceuticals market in Africa is valued at over $60 billion. For 80% of people in Africa, their community pharmacy is the frontline of the health system and yet they routinely stock out of essential medicines, incur significant losses to expiry and struggle with substandard and falsified drugs. These inefficiencies cost the health system millions of dollars each year and limit access to quality care.

According to the company’s research, 60% of community pharmacies frequently stock out of essential medicines and 55% are without access to stable supply and finance.

Lauren Cochran, Managing Director, Blue Haven Initiative says, “Shelf Life is a proven platform to transform access to medicines through Africa’s private community pharmacy market. The design and development have been done on the ground in Nigeria and Kenya and there’s a real experience in the team of what it takes to deliver at scale in African health systems.”

Kenya – Ministry Of Health To Host A First Of Its Kind Healthcare Convention

In efforts to promote Kenya as a regional healthcare hub and healthcare investment destination, Amref Health Africa has partnered with Express Communications Limited, publishers of the Kenya Medical Directory, and the Ministry of Health to host a first of its kind healthcare convention.

The first Kenya Healthcare Convention taking place from March 9 and March 10 in Nairobi is set to bring together more than 350 industry providers to showcase their quality health service approaches, products and technologies to potential customers. This forum offers investors an opportunity to advance medical service delivery through Kenya to the East African region.

East Africa boasts a population of over 132 million people, with a projected 5.7% growth in GDP (the highest in the African region), making it a promising investment destination. Kenya is strategically positioned and regarded as a business hub within the East African Community. The country’s growing middle class (about 45% of the total population) has brought about a rise in demand for quality health care.

Drawing on Kenya’s years of experience in developing a robust private sector in health care and other industries, coupled with a clear strategic framework within the public sector aligned to economic growth and advancing social protection through the Big Four Agenda, the Kenya Healthcare Convention will foster important partnerships for the country and the region and stimulating discussions around promoting Kenya for medical tourism.

The two-day convention seeks to highlight achievements from the counties since the devolution of health services and showcase leading companies, institutions and organisations successfully providing services in this industry, drive engagement on the milestones, achievements and challenges in health service delivery and showcase collaborative achievements between government and private sector and how this has helped position Kenya as the health care hub in the region.

“We cannot speak of the right to health without quality care. Quality is a critical dimension of social justice and human rights principles and one of the essential pillars of universal health coverage. The overall quality of care by private and public providers in our health system is what will set Kenya apart as a regional health care destination,” said Dr Meshack Ndirangu, Country Director, Amref Health Africa in Kenya.

“Among other outcomes, the Kenya Healthcare Convention is expected to set in motion the formation of a multi-agency, government-industry partnership to promote Kenya for medical tourism, as well as kick off the process of developing a Medical and Wellness Tourism Policy for Kenya,” said Sammy Masara, CEO Express Communications Limited.

The Ministry of Health will launch two key documents at this inaugural event – the Quality of Care Certification Manual and Quality of Care Certification Framework for the Kenyan Health Sector, marking a key milestone in the nation’s quality improvement efforts.

The inaugural Kenya Healthcare Convention is also expected to catalyse the identification of a range of national government agencies and policy initiatives to stimulate and promote medical tourism in Kenya.