Given the low application of innovation and technology in healthcare delivery which is believed to be the biggest missed opportunity in transforming healthcare delivery in Nigeria, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), is calling on innovators, techies, academic institutions, private sector companies, businesses, civil society, clinicians, researchers, NGOs, and individuals to participate in the $1million Health Innovation Challenge to Save One Million Lives in Nigeria.
PHN is a public private institution led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Founding Patron), Bill Gates, Jim Ovia (Co-chair), Muhammad Ali Pate (Co-chair), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Sola David Borha, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq (MD / CEO) and other private sector leaders in Nigeria.
The health innovation challenge is multi-phased and will primarily focus on spurring a broader range of innovations (process, technology, market, service delivery) that respond to specific health sector challenges in a manner that demonstrates social impact (lives saved), commercial viability and scalability.
This follows the launch of the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace which has created a convergence platform to identify, nurture, connect, invest and scale up promising health innovations in Nigeria. The marketplace consists of 6 components including Health Innovation Virtual Hub, Health Innovation Competitions and Hack-a-thons, Health Innovation Development Accelerator Program, Health Innovation Data & Knowledge Products, Health Innovation Map and Health Innovation Partnerships for Service Delivery.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Founding patron of PHN in a statement disclosed that the “Private Sector Health Alliance is at the forefront of mobilizing the private sector to complement government’s efforts in saving lives through innovation, advocacy and impact investments.”
Unveiling the health innovation virtual portal, CEO of Private Sector Health Alliance, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq stated that “given that Nigeria loses one million lives of women and children every year from preventable causes, the Private Sector Health Alliance is leading a wave of private sector-driven innovation and public private partnerships that signal the emergence of a new model for healthcare delivery that leapfrogs constraints and contributes to the saving one million lives movement.”
He added that, “the lives of our women and children represent the most important asset for our country, through the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace, we shall do everything to safeguard them.”
The Private Sector Health Alliance has engaged all states in the country and private health sector institutions to develop priority problem statements that if addressed, will contribute to saving at least one million lives of women and children in Nigeria.
Problem statements developed range from the need to create an innovative model to deliver healthcare directly to homes of beneficiaries in crises prone States given security challenges in the North East, to developing more effective surveillance systems and forecasting tools to prevent Ebola from happening again in Lagos, amongst others. A list of problem statements can be viewed on the official portal for the competition – Health Innovation Challenge
The challenge will be outcomes-focused using Disbursement Linked Indicators to inform the disbursements of prizes; with awards of up to $100, 000 (per geo-jurisdiction) disbursed in multiple tranches linked to milestones and results.
For his part, Kelechi Ohiri, Special Adviser to the Minister and the lead of the government’s saving one million lives initiative, said that, “accelerating progress in improving Nigeria’s health outcomes requires rethinking the way health sector interventions and partnerships are developed, delivered and sustained – the Private Sector Health Alliance in partnership with the Saving One Million Lives Initiative is driving an innovative approach to improving healthcare delivery.”
Inaugurating the heath innovation community of practice, Co-chair of the NHIM, Herbert Wigwe (CEO, Access bank) called on participants to respond to priority problem statements and submit an application to Health Innovation Challenge.
The Health Innovation challenge will be open for 6 more weeks. To apply, visit http://nhim.phn.ng/competitions.
To showcase a promising innovation on the Health Innovation Hub/Virtual portal, please register at www.nhim.phn.ng/user/register.
Over the last year, the Private Sector Health Alliance has made significant strides, mobilizing private sector resources and capabilities to advance health outcomes through spurring private sector innovation to address health challenges, building public private partnerships to save a million lives, increasing advocacy, and facilitating impact investments to unlock the market potential of the health sector.