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Momentum builds for UHC across Kenya and Nigeria in 2018

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The road to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa was greatly strengthened by a number of high profile developments in Kenya and Nigeria during 2018. A strong increase in enrollments of people across both countries got underway at both state and county levels, alongside strong support at political level. 2018 was truly the year when Universal Health Coverage was put center stage.

NIGERIA: Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

The year ended on a hugely positive note as the Lagos State Government launched the Lagos State Health insurance scheme in December. It was a significant step towards Universal Health Coverage for the over 20 million residents of the state. The PharmAccess team is proud to have played a significant role in the design process, including implementing the proof of concept, mirroring the Lagos State health scheme for over 12 months, proving that the use of mobile and digital technology can create access to healthcare for even the most vulnerable citizens, as well as efficiency and transparency in scheme administration.

Speaking at the launch, Country Director for PharmAccess Nigeria, Njide Ndili said, “PharmAccess Foundation is excited at the launch of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme and what it means for universal healthcare for Lagosians. Throughout our 10 year relationship with Lagos State, we have been working hard with the Government and stakeholders to provide technical assistance to make sure that the scheme is a great, sustainable and longstanding success.”

NIGERIA: Kwara State launches health insurance for all

The journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria had already taken another step closer earlier in the year. In July Kwara State  launched its mandatory health insurance scheme for every resident. It allocates Government funds to pay the premiums of the poor and vulnerable in society as full subsidies. The process began back in 2007 with the Kwara Community Based Health Insurance Scheme and led to a state-wide insurance scheme in just over ten years. The successful transition was enabled through our work supporting Kwara State, healthcare providers, and communities in creating the demand and quality standards critical for health insurance adoption among the local population. This effective collaboration cultivated the ownership and financing necessary to ensure long-term delivery of primary health care, including maternal and child health. Commenting on the launch, CEO of PharmAccess Monique Dolfing said, “We are happy that the community based health insurance scheme has grown into a statewide scheme we are launching today.” Read the full story here.

KENYA: President signs the UHC national charter

December also saw a momentous moment for the future of health access in Kenya as President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the UHC pilot program in the country. It was a huge step forward for UHC in Kenya. Our team were on the ground in Kisumu County for the announcement. For its part, PharmAccess together with its partner CarePay Kenya, has been cooperating with three of the pilot counties – Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos as well as Kakamega and Kirinyaga – to help foster, develop, and implement a county embedded model for Universal Health Care comprising the dual pillars of cover and care. Our technical partnership with Kisumu has helped facilitate all the registrations in the county – totaling 240,000 people, using the M-TIBA registration application.

KENYA: Massive UHC Registration Drive to get underway in Kisumu County, Kenya

In August, Kisumu County Government announced that it is preparing a massive registration drive to roll out UHC for all its residents. To help reach this important and ambitious aim PharmAccess was asked to assist the country’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to achieve universal health coverage by 2022. As part of the Kenyan’s government’s push towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC) over the next 5 years, all Kisumu county residents will gain access to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for comprehensive health services.

Kisumu is one of the four pilot counties for the UHC pilot and has developed an innovative healthcare model that combines access to health insurance with better quality of care. Utilizing a public-private approach, the county has partnered with PharmAccess for technical assistance. The partnership will facilitate digital registrations into NHIF, health financing, and service delivery in a cost effective and transparent way. Isaiah Okoth, Country Director, PharmAccess Kenya, says, “We share Kisumu’s commitment to unveil universal health coverage for its people while ensuring quality, accessible and affordable healthcare for the long term. From our experience, successful public-private partnerships have the potential to accelerate investment into healthcare. By harnessing the power of mobile technology through the M-TIBA platform, Kisumu is in the frontline of healthcare innovation.” Read the full story here.

KENYA: Registration drives underway in Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Machakos counties

Kirinyaga county in Kenya also kicked off its registration drive to extend universal health coverage to all eligible residents – some 124,000 households. The picture above illustrates the procedure on the ground as teams from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) use M-TIBA to register people for Universal Health Coverage.

– PharmAccess Foundation

NGOs - SDGs

Kudoti, South African Recycling Platform recognised as one of the global winners of the Nestlé’s 2021 Creating Shared Value Prize

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Kudoti Co-Founder, Matthieu de Gaudemar (Image: Medium)

Kudoti, South African recycling company, was announced in the top five winners of Nestlé 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, for their innovative recycling impact through technology.

The CSV Prize has been running for over 10 years and has identified multiple initiatives for some of today’s most critical environmental and social issues around the world. This year’s competition, conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization, Ashoka, was entitled ‘How do we create a waste-free future?’,  It aimed to identify and award innovative solutions with a system-change approach and a strong growth potential, or a replicable model for other social, cultural or geographical settings.

Kudoti (meaning trash in Zulu) is changing business perspectives of waste into recovered materials through supply chain solutions.  The company’s digital approach helps track recyclable waste in real-time and matching it to demand. The use of technology improves market conditions for waste materials, which drives up recycling behaviour.

Matthieu de Gaudemar, one of the founders of Johannesburg-based Kudoti, expressed gratitude to Nestlé and Ashoka for this CSV initiative. “Businesses and individuals have a concept of waste as waste, when we should have a concept of waste as a resource.  With new business models, we can change the way that waste is viewed.”

De Gaudemar adds that their platform’s success was collective team effort. “It truly takes everyone to address systemic environmental issues. Through this financial investment and technical resources, we will amplify our impact by scaling up our solution in South Africa.”

“When people speak of the future, a world of hover crafts or holograSaint-Francis Tohlangms may come to mind. But at Nestlé, we are seeking a more environmentally futuristic landscape. Through these  Awards, we are on a mission to identify and empower market disruptors in the hope of accelerating a waste-free future”, says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

As one of the winners, Kudoti will receive a cash prize of $40 000 and will benefit from Ashoka’s online resources and workshops to explore potential collaboration with Nestlé and a mentoring programme.

“Innovations such as Kudoti not only help reduce waste but also drive consumer behaviour change which is key to achieving a waste free future and takes us closer to a circular economy”, concluded Tohlang.

By Weber Shandwick

 

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Doing Good Work in Africa Marks Its First Anniversary of Supporting Students and Impacting Future Growth in Africa

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Doing Good Work in Africa (DOWA), a non-profit initiative designed to connect students in the United States to African-based entities focused on providing scalable solutions to commonplace challenges, celebrated its first anniversary in April. Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, friends Ola Erogbogbo and Emiola Abass, co-founded a program that generated 400 applications and placed ten students at three partner companies within two months. In just one year, DOWA placed 27 students and conducted seven educational webinars with over 400 attendees from over 17 countries.

“DOWA seeks to provide a path to ‘brain gain’ by attracting US students (African and non-African) to the continent through internships. The premise is that the solution to Africa’s problems must come from within, supported by human and capital investments across the globe.” said Erogbogbo.

DOWA connects students with internship opportunities allowing them to work on socio-economic projects and experience the African culture and corporate environment. Students can take advantage of this unique experience through grants and scholarships funded by some universities. Matching the students with partner companies is accomplished through a rigorous application process, provided at no cost to the students. DOWA’s partner companies and organizations address challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture and champion growth initiatives in technology, artificial intelligence, and power generation in Africa.

“We are proud of our partnership with DOWA – we had two interns work on geospatial AI-powered education technology in low resourced environments. These engaged students’ contributions will help further our goal to raise one million AI talents” said Bayo Adekanmbi, Founder at Data Science Nigeria.

Liam Casey, a Venture Capital Fellow at Funema, said, “My experience has helped narrow down career goals and interests in impact investment and venture capital for emerging markets.”

DOWA is intentional in partnering with organizations that have a shared mission to work on initiatives that further the advancement of Africa. Erogbogbo further said, “DOWA believes that the challenges we face on the continent present opportunities, and thus, connecting students to companies working to address these challenges can result in more effective solutions.”

DOWA was launched with the help of founding supporters that include Scholars in Our Society and Africa (SOSA) at Cornell University and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM). With over 300% participation growth and thanks to its growing network of partner companies, DOWA for the 2021/2022 internship cycles is projected to provide internship opportunities to 70 students from over 20 schools, including five Ivy League colleges.

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GSMA Report Reveals The Gender Gap In Mobile Internet Use Is Shrinking, Despite The COVID-19 Pandemic

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GSMA Report: An estimated 112 million more women started using mobile internet last year across low- and middle-income countries, despite the onset of COVID-19, according to the fourth annual GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report published today.

Nevertheless, 234 million fewer women than men access mobile internet. Moreover, the underlying gender gap in mobile ownership persists and is proving difficult to close.

Affordability, lack of literacy and digital skills, and lower awareness of mobile internet are critical and common barriers for women. Structural inequalities in society and discriminative social norms also remain a challenge. Even when women have the same levels of education, income, literacy, and employment as men, they are still less likely to own a mobile phone or use mobile internet.

The report further revealed that a record number of women in South Asia now use mobile internet services, helping shrink the gender gap to 15% from 19% last year in low- and middle-income countries.

The gains in South Asia, which had the most significant gender gap in 2019 with women 50% less likely than men to use mobile internet, masked the stagnation in other regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Women in both regions now face a similar gender gap in mobile internet use – 37% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 36% in South Asia.

Women were more likely than men to access the internet exclusively via mobile in almost all markets surveyed. In Kenya, for example, 63% of male internet users said they only used the internet via a mobile device compared to 79% of females. This reliance by women on mobile demonstrates the disproportionate benefit of increasing their access.

“If women are to become equal citizens in a more digital, post-COVID world, closing the mobile gender gap has never been more critical,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, of the GSMA. “I urge policymakers, the private sector and the international community to take note of the important findings laid out in the Mobile Gender Gap Report because only concerted action and collaboration will enable women and their families to reap the full benefits of connectivity.”

The GSMA introduced the Connected Women Commitment Initiative in 2016 to catalyse action to close the mobile gender gap. Mobile operators continued to make commitments during 2020, with 40 mobile operators across Africa, Asia and Latin America making formal commitments to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women since 2016. These operators have already reached more than 40 million additional women with mobile internet or mobile money services.

The GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report 2021 is available at: https://www.gsma.com/r/gender-gap/ 

Further information on the Connected Women Commitment Initiative can be found at: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/connected-women/the-commitment/

 

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