In keeping with its commitment to harness innovations in health and leapfrog existing constrains in the health sector, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria has lead a coalition of partners to launch the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM). The NHIM was launched on the 7th of February, 2014 with a steering committee set up to oversee, provide adequate channels and pool strategic partnerships to ensure that the platform set by this innovation marketplace makes sustainable impact with regards to innovations in health and ultimately impact the Nigeria health sector.
During the launch, the PHN board made it clear that the NHIM aims to present a "point place" which serves as a convergence platform where promising health innovations are nurtured, accelerated and market linked to achieve scale in Nigeria. NHIM was deemed strategic as it catalyses the development of innovations targeted at the greatest health challenges in Nigeria giving precedence to the MDGs with a focus on maternal and child health. The NHIM platform also serves as up to date information portal for stakeholders on the innovation landscape.
In February 2014, PHN in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Saving One Million Lives Initiative, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), World Bank, Code for Africa, Co-creation Hub and Idea Hub conducted the first ever healthcare hackathon in Nigeria. The day long hackathon had in attendance over 160 participants (grouped into teams of 4 participants per team) comprising tech experts and entrepreneurs. Participants were presented with representative healthcare data sets (comprising facility level, household and programmatic data points for leading causes of mortality; locations of primary healthcare centres and referral hospitals in all states of the country; state level human resource for health data and other socio economic indicators) with which innovative ICT and mobile health solutions were developed.
In his remarks the CEO, PHN, Dr. Muntaqa Umar Sadiq expressed that it was indeed humbling to see an army of tech experts/programmers develop solutions to empower the true heroines of the Saving One Million Lives Movement; the midwives, female community and village health workers who work tirelessly in many rural areas across the country to save the lives of women, newborns and children.
The top three teams were selected on account of developing the most innovative solutions and were rewarded with cash prizes from PHN. Their solutions include:
The board of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria announced a $24.2 million landmark joint private sector advocacy and commitment declaration. This is channelled towards its 2 year strategic plan to drive a Private Sector Emergency Response Plan to contribute to saving one million lives of women and children in Nigeria and to set up a Health Impact Investment Fund to unlock the market potential of the health sector.
The event took place on the 8th of May 2014 and was graced by state governors, several organisation heads (and representatives) and partners. Remarks were given by Jim Ovia (Co Chair PHN board), Shola David Borha (PHN board), Muhammed Ali Pate (PHN board), His Excellency Idris Wada (Kogi State Governor), His Excellency Isa Yuguda (Bauchi State Governeor), Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu (The Honourable Minister of Health), Dr. Kelechi Ohiri (Technical lead SOML and SA HMH), Ado Muhammed (Exective Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency; NPHCDA), Toyin Saraki (The former First Lady of Kwara State and Founder Wellbeing Foundation), Jean Gough (UNICEF Country Director), Officials from World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), USAID, General Electric (GE) and KPMG amongst others.
The MD/CEO PHN, Dr. Muntaqa Umar Sadiq unveiled the PHN Strategic Plan. He conveyed that on one hand, this focuses on a short term urgency plan aimed at catalyzing progress in meeting health MDGs (by 2015) by mobilizing the private sector to contribute to saving more lives of women and children. On the other, It also serves as a health system enabler to sustain gains, spur innovation and contribute to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria.
The climax of the event was the commitment declaration made by Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Founding Patron, PHN Board) who announced on behalf of the board of PHN, a $24.2 million commitment through PHN to accelerate the government's efforts to save lives and invest in critical segments of the healthcare value chain to benefit the under-served.
PHN is set to conduct a health innovation challenge and awards in Nigeria (with the pioneer edition in 2014). The health innovation challenge will serve as a platform to showcase, harness and invest in promising health innovations from the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM) to enable them achieve scale and contribute to economic growth. The winners of the challenge will be eligible to participate in the year's acceleration class to support and provide possible market linkages for the further development of these innovations. Intending participants for the challenge will be required to register their innovations via the NHIM virtual portal.