Monday, 17 April 2017

Promoting Health Innovation In Nigeria Through Private Sector Intervention

By Chioma Obinna Despite the large number of investments made in
Nigeria’s health sector over the past 10 years, the
attraction in achieving the desired results of
improved health outcomes could be better. Although healthcare innovations exist within the
country, poor capacity/support systems for
innovators have been one of the constraints to
achieving scale. A number of innovations have not made valuable
or sustainable impact in the health sector due to
the lack of enabling systems or programmes.
Every year, Nigerians spend an estimated $1 billion
on medical treatment abroad. This, however, buttresses the need for bold and
innovative approaches to identify and support
new and existing health programmes that could
save a million lives annually. FORUM: From left: Executive Director, Child Health Advocacy initiative (CHAI), Mrs. Lola Alonge; Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc and Co-chair, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), Mr. Jim Ovia; CEO, PHN, Dr. Muntaqa Umar- Sadiq, and Principal Sub Saharan Africa Coverage Barclay Africa, Mr. Bayo Adeyemi, at the Health Innovation Development Accelerator Programme (HiDAP) held in Lagos weekend. This need to spur, identify and support innovation
in healthcare was recognised by the Private Sector
Health Alliance of Nigeria, PHN, which led to the
launch of the Nigeria Health Innovation
Marketplace, NHIM. Since its launch, NHIM has emerged as a critical
convergence platform for key actors in Nigeria’s
healthcare innovation ecosystem, spurring broad
scale innovations in health (ranging from process,
technology to new markets and more across the
healthcare value chain), supporting social entrepreneurship, and connecting actors in the
innovation ecosystem with the intent to leapfrog
constrains and accelerate improvement in
outcomes. Chief Executive Officer, PHN Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq
revealed that in 2015, PHN through the innovation
marketplace, conducted the first ever in country
Health Innovation Challenge, HIC, to identify,
reward and support promising innovations
addressing key challenges in the health sector – specifically focusing on saving the lives of mothers
and children in Nigeria.

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