Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, and the African Union, today, announced a major new partnership aimed to strengthen healthcare infrastructures and access to care in African Union Member States by improving access to medical equipment. Via the Africa Medical Supplies Platform, Philips and the African Union 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.
“We are seeing second, and third waves of COVID-19 hit regions across the globe, so we cannot be complacent,” said African Union Special Envoy Strive Masiyiwa. “There is still a huge shortage of ventilators across the African continent and that is why this collaboration with Philips is critical to help us overcome the financial and technological constraints of our existing healthcare systems.”
In addition to sourcing additional equipment via the AMSP platform, public-sector country and government hospitals and private hospital chains will be able, before 31 March 2021, to trade their outdated ventilators in for a next-generation Philips hospital ventilator at favorable conditions. Wherever possible, outdated ventilators will be sustainably disposed of or refurbished as part of Philips’ EcoDesign initiative.
“Lack of access to affordable quality healthcare is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “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 infrastructures now and in the long-run.”
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 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 African Union 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.
“The Africa CDC is building the right partnerships to bring this COVID-19 pandemic under control in Africa and strengthen our health systems to combat any future disease outbreaks,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). “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.”
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. The AMSP 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 and Prevention (Africa CDC) and was developed in partnership with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).