South Africa to host COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer hub for the continent

AFRICA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has picked South Africa to host the continent’s first messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology transfer hub for COVID-19 vaccines. The move comes after the WHO issued an expression of interest in April, to establish COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hubs to scale up production and access to COVID vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The WHO describes the transfer hubs as training facilities, where the technology is established at industrial scale and clinical development performed. Interested manufacturers from LMICs can receive training and any necessary licences to the…

Read More

IFC, Co-op Bank and Philips in US$281m deal to support SMEs in health sector in Africa

KENYA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of World Bank Group, has announced partnerships with health technology firm Philips and the Co-operative Bank of Kenya to help small businesses in the health sector purchase essential medical equipment and strengthen their response to Covid-19 and other pressing healthcare challenges. The deal is designed to provide risk-sharing facilities to help small businesses access up to US$281 million in loans and leases. The partnership with is aimed at supporting healthcare providers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. The…

Read More

South Africa’s pharma regulator approves Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) has granted a conditional approval for the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, a significant step in Africa’s quest to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across the Continent. The approval comes just days after the announcement by the American pharmaceutical giant that it is set to provide up to 400 million doses of its highly effective vaccine to African countries that have continued to voice their concerns over ‘vaccine nationalism’ – or the near monopoly by more resourceful countries such…

Read More

Health payment provider CarePay lends US$18.2m to private healthcare providers in Kenya

KENYA – CarePay,  a platform that supports private and public health plans with smart mobile health wallets to provide access to good healthcare has lent out US$18.24 million to private healthcare facilities last year, largely to fund acquisition of essential equipment and expansion. The loan facility, under CarePay’s medical credit fund (MCF), saw disbursements go up from about US$456204 per month by the third quarter in 2020 to more than US$3.65 million a month in the fourth quarter. “We used our data on medical care expenses made via our platform, M-tiba,…

Read More

E-health startup hearX Group raises US$8.3m Series A funding round, eyes US market

SOUTH AFRICA – E-health startup hearX Group, which is striving to increase access to hearing  healthcare through smart digital solutions, has completed a US$8.3 million Series A fundraise as it targets to reach the United States (US). Founded out of the University of Pretoria, hearX Group started trading in 2016 with the purpose of commercialising digital technologies to change the face of hearing care. Initially, it focused on clinical digital audiometers, later branching out into lead generation tools for audiologists and retailers.  Its latest offering includes an end-to-end hearing care solution that…

Read More

Private equity firm Eos Capital to buy stake in Erongo Medical Group

NAMIBIA – Private equity firm Eos Capital has announced it is in talks to acquire a minority stake in Erongo Medical Group (Pty) Ltd, the owners of the Welwitschia Hospital at Walvis Bay in Namibia. The transaction will cost several millions, and the deal is expected to be closed next week. The Namibian reported that the price and shareholding are yet to be made public. Erongo Medical Group (EMG) does not only run the Welwitschia Hospital, but also has Erongo Radiology, Ongwediva Medipark, and Medixx Occupational Health Services under its wings.…

Read More

Pfizer picks Patrick van der Loo to head Africa and the Middle East region

AFRICA – American multinational pharmaceutical corporation, Pfizer has announced the appointment of Patrick van der Loo as Regional President for Africa and the Middle East (AfME) region. Patrick’s experience at Pfizer spans more than 20 years in leadership roles with multiple successes across geographies. In his new role as Regional President for AfME, Patrick will lead commercial operations to bring scientific breakthroughs in vaccines, oncology, rare diseases, internal medicine, hospitals, and inflammation & immunology, to serve patients.  “This year has made me even more grateful and proud to be part…

Read More

Startup Ilara Health raises US$3.75m for investments in life-saving diagnostics in Sub-Saharan Africa

KENYA – Health-tech startup Ilara Health, focused on bringing essential, affordable and life-saving diagnostics to African consumers, has raised US$3.75 million in Series A funding led by TLcom Capital, with participation from DOB Equity, Global Ventures and Chandaria Capital, to expand its diagnostic reach across the continent and accelerate the development of its integrated patient health management platform. llara Health powers existing primary care facilities with next-generation point of care diagnostic tools to bridge the diagnostic gap across sub-Saharan Africa. Vast majority of clinical decisions often require some form of laboratory diagnosis, but in…

Read More

AstraZeneca partners Kenya’s MYDAWA to bolster patient commitment

KENYA – British multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, has   announced its partnership with Kenya’s online pharmacy MYDAWA as part of its commitment to work towards a future where all people have access to sustainable healthcare solutions for life changing treatment and prevention. Through the partnership with Kenya’s leading e-Pharmacy, patients will have convenient, private access to AstraZeneca’s innovative products via the MYDAWA platform, with deliveries made by a fully licensed and qualified Pharmaceutical Technologist (Pharmtec) able to provide advice on AstraZeneca medication administration and adherence. As part of the…

Read More

Kenya’s Villgro rebrands, scales across Africa to support e-health ventures

KENYA – Nairobi-based Villgro Kenya incubator and impact investor has rebranded to Villgro Africa and expanded across the continent as it bids to support more e-health startups. The India-based Villgro Innovations Foundation expanded to Africa in 2017 with the launch of Villgro Kenya, an early-stage business incubator and impact investor that offers mentoring, funding and access to networks to startups in the healthcare and life sciences sector in East Africa. Since its inception, Villgro Kenya has enabled access to healthcare to those at the bottom of the pyramid, and successfully supported 21 enterprises…

Read More