The article discusses the collaboration between African governments and innovators to strengthen local health supply chains. Global healthcare consulting firm, Salient Advisory, conducted a survey of startups digitizing the health supply chain in Africa, highlighting the challenges of fragmented private health supply, leading to issues like product availability and quality. The report, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, tracks nearly 350 innovators across 27 countries, revealing that public health supply chains are overburdened, pushing Africans to seek products from private health innovators.
The report showcases African governments partnering with health supply chain innovators on about 50 collaborations, aiming to enhance the availability, accessibility, and quality of health products. Many partnerships focus on digitizing ordering and inventory management to increase efficiency and reduce wastage. The report also addresses the importance of supporting early-stage startups and the need for grants to create more equitable innovation ecosystems, especially for women-founded companies.
The article highlights the role of companies like Copia Global, Glovo, Jumia, and Konga in providing technology-enabled access to health products. It also emphasizes the real-life impact of technology solutions adopted by governments, such as Maisha Meds in Kenya, which helps manage stock and minimize waste in public health facilities.
Furthermore, the report suggests that global health agencies and donors should play a role in designing trade financing solutions to support partnerships between startups and governments. The article also mentions the Investing in Innovation (I3) initiative, which provides grants to African health tech startups, with an emphasis on supporting African and women-founded companies.
Overall, the research highlights the importance of partnerships between innovators and governments in improving health supply chains in Africa and ensuring safer access to quality medicines for individuals, ultimately leading to positive health outcomes and economic benefits.
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