May 2013 CIO; Healthcare systems are stretched and a lack of clinical resources is evident with report showing Kenya to have only 2 doctors to care for every 10,000 people, compared to 24 doctors for every 10,000 people in the USA and inadequate investment in technology across many levels of health care delivery to optimize better services.
Royal Philips Electronics has a long tradition in supporting various Ministries of Health in developing comprehensive and sustainable healthcare revitalization projects, offers eLearning courses for a wide range of medical professionals, and has established partnerships with leading Academic Universities across Africa to improve the practical, clinical and technological knowledge and skills of students in the healthcare discipline.
Last month they announced a collaboration agreement with Mathare North Health Centre to contribute to the Mama Ni Uhai Women’s Healthcare Scanning Program in Kenya, which will formally roll out end of this month. The announcement coincided with the launch of Philips’ “Fabric of Africa” campaign in Kenya, collaborative campaign to drive public-private partnerships and to improve healthcare access across the continent by use of technology and improved solutions.
The main intention of the campaign is to develop meaningful partnerships and improve healthcare delivery in the areas of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), maternal and child health, and healthcare infrastructure, delivery and clinical training. This collaboration is a natural progression for Philips in Kenya; supporting our partnerships with the Kenyan Ministry of Medical Services (MoMS), the Kenyan Women and Children’s Wellness Centre of the James Jordan Foundation and the successful ultrasound screening program offered on our annual pan-African Cape Town to Cairo Roadshow.
The ultra sound equipment, Philips ClearVue 350 costing US $35,000 and up-gradable will be used for routine fetal monitoring, data collection and comes with back up support in servicing, and technical management training for staff who will handle.
The equipment is to manage 25 tests per day with the hardware infrastructure supply borne to government to help in generation of data for future planning and disease survey and analytics for the region. The Women’s Healthcare Scanning program will contribute to a significant reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality in Kenya through improved access to healthcare in the largest public health facility in Kasarani District, Nairobi. In sight is a reduction by at least 5percent of the number of deaths caused by lack of adequate infrastructure, equipment and up-to-date technology investment in health facilities. Philips will measure outcomes in partnership with the Mathare North Health Centre during the pilot year with the intention to scale up and expand the program across Kenya and other countries in East, and West Africa.
“Worldwide, complications of pregnancy and childbirth contribute to 358,000 maternal deaths annually, 99 percent of which occur in developing countries especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the maternal deaths are preventable with accurate and timely diagnosis to guide intervention” says Dr. Moses Owino, Medical Officer of Health for Kasarani District, Nairobi.
“Under-resourced areas in Kenya rarely have ultrasound or trained clinicians to operate the systems. Women from the urban-poor and rural and remote areas of Kenya continue to be vulnerable to serious health issues especially during child birth. We applaud the initiative from Philips to provide the key tools to Mathare North Health Centre in the fight to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality”
Philips will support the program with the contribution of medical equipment (including ultrasound, fetal monitor, Vital Signs and Bilirubin), servicing and technical management of the equipment and on-going healthcare professional training. Education and training of healthcare professionals will be central to the success and sustainability of the program. In addition, Philips will provide a dedicated on the ground Program Manager to support all aspects of the program.
The initiative reflects the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (specifically goals 4 and 5), focusing on three key areas: maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases (specifically breast, cervical and cardiac health), infrastructure rehabilitation and clinical training.
During the course of the campaign, Philips aims to introduce innovative, cost appropriate health technologies and eHealth solutions to the African market. Through local and international partnerships the company will provide financing solutions, technical assistance and support to strengthen health systems, and a training framework to increase the output of trained and skilled healthcare professionals in the continent. The focus in geared towards infrastructure, equipment support and information management delivery systems.
“Philips has always put a lot of emphasis on maternal and child health. This program is intended to increase the number of women seeking healthcare, the ability of the local healthcare facilities to attend to these women’s needs, and to reduce mortality rates due to availability of early screening. We are delighted to collaborate with the Mathare North Health Centre and play our part in improving the delivery of healthcare in Kenya; and in creating a successful program which can be rolled out across East Africa and beyond” commented JJ van Dongen, Senior Vice President and CEO Philips Africa.
The need for better and more efficient healthcare infrastructure including clinical training is underlined in the “Fabric of Africa Trends Report” on healthcare services across Africa; commissioned by Philips. The report reflects that mortality rates for women and children in Africa continue to rise and are among the highest in the world due to a lack of adequate healthcare services, data collection for analyzing and trend mapping.