Teaching Kenyan health workers on new maternal health technologies. Photo credit: Philips
With only two years until the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire, sub-Saharan Africa continues to lag behind global targets to improve child mortality and maternal health. At this point in the game, it’s all hands on deck – and NGOs, governments and the private sector are all doing their part.
Philips, an engineering and electronics company, is helping to make up ground in a big way: by going on an annual tour through Africa to train local medical professionals and furbish clinics and health centers with advanced medical technology.
This year’s tour, the 2013 Cape Town to Cairo Road Show, just ended its five-month journey through 15 countries in Africa in September. One of our favorite stops was in Nairobi, Kenya, where Philips launched the neonatal wing at the Gertrude Children’s Hospital, equipped with the company’s health care imaging and patient-monitoring technology.
In coordination with the hospital, Philips will train over 120 local health care professionals on fetal monitoring, infant warming, jaundice management and clinical ultrasounds. Mr. Gordon Odundo, CEO of the Gertrude Children’s Hospital, expressed his excitement about their collaboration with Philips.
“These health care innovations will allow us to improve patient care from diagnosis to treatment, monitoring, and aftercare,” he said. “As such, we can save lives of more mothers and children.”
Philips is also offering a screening camp for expectant mothers, many of whom have never before had an ultrasound to detect complications due to under-resourced health clinics that lack equipment and trained clinicians. Philips will refer all expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies to Gertrude’s Foundation to follow-up on complications detected during the screening.
Learn more about the Nairobi stop here:
Like many companies around the world, Philips sees huge potential for growth in Africa over the coming years, and hopes to expand their presence across the continent by partnering with local actors, including health care professionals, clinics and other stakeholders.
It’s an exciting example of how the private sector can promote business growth while helping to improve the lives of millions of people trapped in poverty.