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Philips Partners AU To Strengthen Healthcare Systems In Africa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Philips, a global leader in health technology has joined forces with the African Union (AU) to strengthen healthcare infrastructure and access to care in AU Member States.

The new partnership which was announced in Amsterdam today is also aimed at improving access to medical equipment by AU Member States and access to healthcare solutions for COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Moreover, through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) the collaboration between Philips and the AU will help provide a range of medical equipment, including state-of-the-art ventilators, patient-monitoring equipment, point-of-care ultrasound scanners, oxygen concentrators, and mobile digital radiography systems, in response to the immediate needs of healthcare facilities and COVID-19 patients.

The AMSP is an online marketplace that facilitates the supply of medical equipment for acute COVID-19 care in Africa at competitive prices to achieve greater impact and reach, while also simplifying procurement and distribution channels for fast-track delivery.

It was developed under the leadership of the AU Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa. It is powered by Janngo on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC)  and was developed in partnership with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

In addition to sourcing additional equipment via the AMSP platform, public-sector driven government hospitals and private hospital chains will be able, before 31 March 2021, to trade their outdated ventilators in for a next-generation Philips hospital ventilator at favorable conditions. Wherever possible, outdated ventilators will be sustainably disposed of or refurbished as part of Philips’ EcoDesign initiative.

Alongside providing much needed medical equipment, the collaboration will extend the reach of Philips’ established Med-Talks Platform, which provides peer-to-peer networking webinars aimed at the clinical community.

These webinars, according to a statement distributed by APO Group on behalf of Philips, are designed to stimulate continuous professional development through case studies and best practice sharing and provide access to the latest protocols and learnings from across the world.

Coordinated through AMSP, Philips’ collaboration with AU means that communities across Africa will be able to receive the care they need from trained local healthcare workers, with the best technology and know-how available.

AU Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa said there is still a huge shortage of ventilators across the African continent, adding that this  is why the collaboration with Philips is critical to help Africa overcome the financial and technological constraints of its existing healthcare systems

“We are seeing second, and third waves of COVID-19 hit regions across the globe, so we cannot be complacent”, he added.

Also in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Philips, Frans van Houten noted that lack of access to affordable quality healthcare is one of the most pressing issues under the present dispensation.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified the situation, the improvements we are collectively making to expand access to care in underserved communities and upgrade aging equipment will strengthen healthcare infrastructure now and in the long-run”, he further explained.

Speaking in a similar vein, the Director of African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Dr John Nkengasong said the Africa CDC is building the right partnerships to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control in Africa and strengthen health systems to combat any future disease outbreaks.

 “The AMSP is bringing together several organizations to work with us in sourcing the right equipment and medical supplies for our healthcare facilities. This new partnership with Philips is a remarkable addition that will provide long-term benefits for healthcare facilities in Africa”, he added.


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