Locally driven action
There are good examples to support this kind of approach. We created an Africa Innovation Hub in 2014 to provide “Innovation in Africa, with Africans for Africans”.
This starts from the foundation we established in the local community – understanding local needs is critical – and involved co-creating solutions in partnerships, in particular with local governments, resulting in the development of diagnostic devices such as the Children’s Automated Respiratory Monitor Device (ChARM), the Wind-Up Fetal Doppler, the Community Life Center (CLC), etc.
In 2014, Philips opened its first Community Life Center in Kenya, a country with an abnormally high maternal death rate with 488 deaths per 100,000 live births.
The whole development process to encourage community ownership involved the entire community - health workers, government at national and local level and humanitarian partners. Through renting out space for commercial services, the facility generates revenues, contributing to its financial sustainability.
In less than one year, we have witnessed 4,000 people a month seeking care at the facility, up from 1,000 a month previously, many of these pregnant women and children.
Last month, Philips and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) announced plans to implement Kenya’s second “Community Life Centre” in Mandera, a County in North-Eastern Kenya with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratio - 3,795 per 100,000 live births.
Shared value, creating partnerships
So much can be achieved with the new technologies we have today - entire healthcare systems can leapfrog their current state and expand access to care to millions more people. Thanks to the digital revolution, we can do what was previously unthinkable -- improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs in emerging economies.
Companies like ours can make a substantial contribution to Sustainable Healthcare for All: we have the capabilities, competencies and the ability to scale and innovate. Partnerships between public and private sector, civil society and academia are instrumental tools for achieving scale and improving efficiency. They will enable us to address both healthcare and social challenges collectively, scaling and widening access to health innovation.
It is our shared obligation to provide access to healthcare and appropriate healthcare to all at all ages. The private sector will drive and be part of this momentum, because it's good for people, it's good for the planet and it's good for business. This is not about philanthropy — it’s about innovating the business model of healthcare that will lead to shared-value. Only then does the radical transformation and development become sustainable.