Private Sector Health Alliance shortlists 42 innovations to support the Save One Million Lives Program

The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Jim Ovia, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Mrs. Sola David-Borha are leading the drive to spur innovative approaches to addressing the leading causes of deaths in women and children.

The Alliance created the Nigerian Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM) which was launched by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and chaired by Mr. Herbert Wigwe. The NHIM focuses on:

  • Identifying, spurring and scaling-up promising health innovations
  • Providing an accelerator program to build capabilities and bring promising health innovations to market readiness.
  • Connecting health innovators and entrepreneurs with thought leaders, investors and key players in business, government and philanthropy to enhance broad-scale innovations and social impact.

Following the development of bespoke problem statements across multiple tracks including increasing access to health coverage, service delivery models, data and performance management systems, topical public health issues, the $1 million Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) is targeted at addressing these priority problem statements that if addressed will support the scale-up of basic primary health care services and contribute to the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) program.

The Private Sector Health Alliance has shortlisted 42 innovations out of over 1, 000 entries received across all geopolitical zones of the country. The shortlisted innovations demonstrate a blend of social impact and commercial viability- prioritizing on bold innovations in service delivery that can potentially disrupt the Primary Health Care (PHC) system

Alhaji Aliko Dangote stated that 30 shortlisted innovations are currently at the pilot or scale-up phase of the implementation and the Alliance seeks to support innovations to enhance the coverage of key primary health services to support the SOML program.

Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), revealed that the shortlisted innovations were diverse and cut across the health care value chain including local manufacturers of Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTFs) for malnutrition, emergency referral support solutions, innovative malaria point-of-care diagnostic tools, mobile health applications to support Universal Health Coverage, smartphone disease surveillance system, amongst many others.

According to Dr. Muntaqa, "The next phase of HIC will focus on an accelerator program for shortlisted innovators. The business development bootcamp is slated to hold in August 2015 for the shortlisted innovators. The goal of the bootcamp is to transform the shortlisted innovations from their current stages into full-blown sustainable and viable social enterprises.

"Award disbursement for winners of the Health Innovation Challenge range from $50,000 to $100,000 for service delivery and process innovations while $15,000 to support technology-based enablers. The investments will be disbursed based on outcomes (e.g. number of lives saved), with tranches of payments triggered by achievement of certain technical and operational performance measures."

The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria worked with a multi-disciplinary review team to thoroughly evaluate each application based on selection criteria. Both the evaluation process and shortlisted innovations were overseen and endorsed by the NHIM Steering Committee chaired by Mr. Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank.

Winners of the challenge will pilot or implement their innovations for a period of 12 months. The Alliance will provide innovation fund management expertise and has put together a technical assistance team of core health and business subject matter experts to support the implementation process and drive results.

For a full list of innovators shortlisted for Stage 2 of the HIC 2015, visit

Private Sector Health Alliance Currently Accepting Applications for its $1 million Health Innovation Challenge

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 . To showcase a promising innovation on the Health Innovation Hub/Virtual portal, please register at .

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.

PHN leverages innovation to mobilize 9 million women for free healthcare

The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), a private-sector led coalition mobilizing the business and corporate community towards a multi-sectoral partnerships to improve health outcomes, has executed the largest mobile health (m-Health) intervention in Nigeria as it has mobilized at least 9 million targeted underserved women and children in 8 high disease burden States to utilize free primary healthcare services through innovation and partnerships.

The intervention is being implemented as part of the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Weeks (MNCHW) campaign, a biannual national mass campaign that seeks to mobilize women and children across the country to health facilities to access free primary health care services and life-saving commodities such as vitamin A supplementation, routine immunization, deworming tablets, screening for malnutrition, long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria, ORS and Zinc for diarrhea and others.

Partners that joined the Alliance for the intervention include Etisalat, Dangote Group, Access Bank Plc, Zenith bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, SOMLI, VAS2NETS, GSMA, Visafone, UNICEF, Samsung, GSK among others.

Mr. Jim Ovia, Co-Chair of the Private Sector Health Alliance, said: 'As we approach the December 2015 MDGs deadline, we are pleased that PHN is providing the platform to bring together private sector partnerships and innovation that will enable Nigeria accelerate progress in attaining the health MDGs'

According to Dr. Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, MD/CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance, 'following a rapid diagnostic, we identified priority areas of the health system where integrating private sector capabilities to public health priorities will unlock constraints and contribute significantly to the saving one million lives movement'.

He stated that, in addition to mobilizing private sector resources to provide nutrition and lifesaving commodities to 500,000 children across under-served jurisdictions, PHN also provided private sector management support to public primary healthcare centers in a number of high burden States to enhance the productivity of public health workers and improve the quality of care provided during the MNCHWs.

He explained that PHN has scaled up its previous m-health intervention to target 9 million vulnerable women using geo-location based mobile text messages and voice messages in local languages.

PHN champions private sector involvement for Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods intervention

With over one million Nigerian children threatened with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Nigeria, a condition that has led to stunted growth among Nigerian children under the age of five, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) is driving private sector players to manufacture Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) to address acute malnutrition in Nigeria.

RUTF, which has revolutionized the treatment of malnutrition, is a specialized product used for malnutrition intervention programs in target populations, including children 6 to 59 months of age with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).

Nigeria spends millions of dollars annually to procure RUTF from Niger, Europe and the US as no indigenous firm currently manufactures this life saving commodity in-country, therefore, the securing of a license to manufacture RUTF by a home-grown pharmaceutical company, Tyonex from Nutriset, a major global RUTF manufacturer - a partnership that was facilitated by PHN - is a step in the right direction considering that current health indices reveal that malnutrition is an underlying cause of a significant proportion of under-five deaths in Nigeria, accounting for more than 50 percent of deaths of children in this age bracket.

Through more market-based approaches and engaging private sector companies across the value chain, the Alliance has engaged start-up companies to produce products to solve moderate malnutrition and pulled local resources to save 50, 000 SAM children in 11 Sahelian States, including Borno and Kano.

According to Dr. Umar-Sadiq, "RUTF cost is one of the limiting factors in addressing this problem. PHN decided to take on malnutrition through strategic partnerships, and impact investments. In conjunction with Dangote Foundation, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Etisalat & Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alliance has been able to treat at least 50,000 SAM in 11 Sahelian States."

"We engaged private sector players including regulatory agencies by building capacity with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to provide technical and operational guidelines on best practices needed to begin the manufacture of RUTF.

A July 2013 report by the Federal Ministry of Health reveals that 41 percent of Nigerian children under age five suffer stunted growth, a form of malnutrition for which children appear too short for their age. This makes Nigeria one of the six countries that account for half of all child deaths from malnutrition worldwide, with obvious profound implications for health and human development in the country.

PHN embarks on its Membership drive

The year 2014 was in many ways a foundational year for the Membership Relations team at the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN). Great effort was put into developing a Fund Development Plan which has helped the organization to focus and streamline its approach to soliciting funds and seeking membership.

A comprehensive Membership Application Package and Membership letter was also developed and sent to prospective Members to invite corporate organizations to join the coalition of the willing to save a million Nigerian women and children.

As a result of deliberate efforts to grow PHN's membership base during the past year, a number of private sector companies have approached the organization, some seeking membership into one of the three broad types namely; Platinum, Premium, and Silver – while some seek specific project-based strategic partnerships which leverages on companies' unique strengths and capabilities.

PHN facilitates Strategic Partnerships with the Private Sector

The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) has commenced discussions with a leading global FMCG company to leverage their supply chain infrastructure to circumvent present challenges with distribution and inventory management of essential medicines.

The Alliance has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a leading Telecommunications company to leverage the residual power from their vast GSM mast spread across Nigeria to complement current sub-optimal electricity supply and ensure that vaccines are stored at required temperatures and are much more accessible to communities within 10 kilometers of the nearest primary health center.

In addition to this is an engagement with a leading financial services company to leverage on their external communication platforms with clients such as text-messaging, email alerts, and ATM prompts to create awareness about the biannual Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Weeks (MNCHWs) by reaching over 10 million people.

Private Sector Roundtable Meeting on Ebola

The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) convened a Private Sector Round Table Meeting on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and other emerging infectious diseases on the 14th of October 2014, with eight major private sector companies to explore key success factors of the outbreak response, remaining critical challenges and critical needs of the transition phase.

The meeting was primarily intended to clearly delineate the role of the private sector in strengthening this response going forward, particularly in the areas of disease surveillance, community-driven health education, stigma reduction and vaccine/drug research.

The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Primary Health-Care Development Agency Dr. Kayode Oguntimehin who was also present at the meeting shared a status report on the National Emergency Preparedness Plan on Ebola that is intended to stipulate new national guidelines and protocols for managing infectious disease like Ebola which the Federal Government intends to make public soon.

PHN's Impact Investment Fund

The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) Impact Investment Fund's objectives are fourfold; To unlock the market potential of the health sector by addressing market failures, de-fragmenting the private sector and shaping health markets to create a more attractive health investment landscape; to facilitate impact investments in disruptive health innovations and enable them to achieve scale and create jobs; to originate and execute commercially viable investments in critical segments of the health sector that benefit underserved segments and to improve the quality of care in eligible facilities in the country.

The Fund will invest directly in companies and innovations that are commercially viable, reach the 'bottom of the pyramid' and unlock the market potential of the health sector. Additionally the Fund will facilitate co-investments and Public Private Partnerships in critical segments of the health value chain.

In 2014, the Fund has focused on understanding and mapping the landscape of promising investment opportunities in the health sector that lie within our core areas of interest. As a result, the team has identified a number of segments within the broader health sector where its investment appetite is strongest: Healthcare Services; Pharmaceutical Retail; Logistics and Supply Chain; Specialist Pharmaceutical Manufacturing; and Co-location public-private partnerships (PPPs)

The team currently has a pipeline of opportunities at various stages of the investment approval process that meet the criteria of providing a demonstrable social impact in improving the quality and access to healthcare but also promising the opportunity for healthy financial returns. The team expects to conclude its first investment(s) in Q1 2015.

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