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Mobihealth International wins Sanofi AfricaTech Healthcare challenge

Mobihealth International, Africa’s first fully integrated telehealth start-up leveraging technology in harnessing diaspora and local doctors and medical service providers through a secure electronic medical record and video software, has been announced as the winner of the “How to help healthcare systems leapfrog from manual to smart logistics solutions at point of care” Category of the 2020 Sanofi AfricaTech Healthcare Challenge.

The announcement was made at an online ceremony held in Paris on June 11, 2020.

Funmi Adewara, CEO of Mobihealth International, expressed her joy on the selection of Mobihealth International as the winner of the award.

It is an honour to win and be recognized as a solution provider committed to attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals three (SDG-3). This award is dedicated to Nigeria and to every African out there who desires quality healthcare,” Adewara said.

According to her, “Africa has a disproportionate disease burden compared to its population. This results from the poor access to healthcare occasioned by shortage of doctors, poor healthcare infrastructure, exposure to counterfeit medicines and high cost of treatment- and all these in a continent where ninety-five per cent of the people lack health insurance.

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“Our intervention of integrated telehealth in the health sector is to bring about an increased access to quality and affordable healthcare to Africans who are in need of it and technology is making that possible in a scalable and secure way.” Partnership with Sanofi, a reputable global Pharmaceutical player, will help to drive adoption and provide us the support we need to scale up our solutions especially to resource poor settings.”

While Adewara thanked the organisers and judges for finding the company worthy of the award, she further informed that Mobihealth International’s intervention is tailored to meet the global healthcare needs and address multiple pain points of shortage of doctors, brain drain, poor/lack of healthcare infrastructures, limited access to private/public health insurance, capital flight from medical tourism, exposure to counterfeit medicines, unqualified personnel and high cost of treatments.

Dimeji Agbolade, external affairs director of Sanofi Ghana-Nigeria, noted that this is the first time a Nigerian company has won this annual challenge, which make Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana extremely proud.

According to Sanofi, “While representing 17 percent of the world’s population, Africa represents 25 percent of global disease burden and only 2 percent of world’s doctors. This discrepancy illustrates the ongoing challenges of access to health for African populations. As a global industry leader and a key healthcare actor in Africa for more than 60 years, we feel it is our responsibility to continuously seek out the most innovative, adapted approaches to improve access to healthcare for the people of Africa.”

The challenge had 268 entries from 34 African countries, based on the five criteria of project maturity, early results, the relevance of the solution, market potential and business model, as well as the skills and expertise of the team. At the end of the initial review, Mobihealth International made the shortlist, along with ten other contestants.

Other winners in the final four category challenge included Eyone, a Senegalese startup in the category of ‘How to support patients with a digital health book in order to access information and make decisions’; and MamaPrime, Kenyan company, in the category of ‘How to improve financing and impact of innovative health solutions in Africa’.

Others are Teheca, a Ugandan start-up and the University Agency Innovation, from Cameroon who jointly won the ‘Sanofi Espoir Foundation: How to improve maternal and neonatal health in sub-Saharan Africa’ challenge.

The award is being organized by VivaTech, the world’s rendezvous for start-ups and leaders to celebrate innovation, and sponsored by Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical giant.

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