The World Health Organization (WHO) in the African Region is making moves to drive deeper investments in Africa’s medical care sector. In this regard, WHO Africa has launched the first WHO Africa Innovation Challenge calling for health innovations with the potential for having significant social impact and addressing the unmet health needs on the continent.
“This Innovation Challenge recognizes the critical need for innovations to address the continent’s challenges in healthcare,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti.
“WHO champions the promotion of homegrown solutions to address health challenges in reproductive, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other key areas. We hope this challenge will spark the entrepreneurial spirit of innovators and lead to credible health innovations across the continent,” Dr. Moeti added.
This Challenge will prioritise innovative and scalable healthcare solutions for selection. The three submission categories are Product, Service and Social Innovation.
There will be a dedicated website and platform, which will highlight these healthcare innovations. The platform will serve as a dynamic marketplace to connect diverse stakeholders such as ministries of various sectors of the government as well as health experts, academics and public and private investors. Qualifying users on the platform will be able to leverage the global network.
Entries will be assessed by a panel of independent evaluators based on the innovation’s potential impact on health in Africa as well as the possibility of being replicated or scaled-up.
The launch of this Challenge and platform serves as a precursor to the Africa Health Forum to be held in Cape Verde in March 2019. The Forum has been described as the premier gathering of political and business leaders in the region devoted to health.
Selected finalists will be awarded a sponsorship covering flights and accommodation to attend the forum. At this event, they will get the opportunity to exhibit their innovations and meet with top political, government and business leaders in the health space. They will also get a chance to exhibit their solutions at the annual meeting of Ministers of Health from the WHO African Region in August 2019, in Brazzaville, Congo.