Africa.com caught up with Jasper Westerink, CEO of Philips Africa, during the World Economic Forum in Durban.
Philips Partners with the Government of Kenya and the United Nations (UN) to Advance the African Healthcare Agenda
Philips is the first private sector partner to establish a SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Partnership Platform in Kenya for accelerating primary healthcare transformation. The announcement to partner with the Kenyan government and the UN was made at WEF on Africa in Durban, and forms part of the company’s broader global goal to improve the lives of 3 billion people annually by 2025.
Jasper Westerink, CEO of Philips Africa, says they are trying to play their part in making primary healthcare sustainable and accessible throughout Africa. “What we’ve done over the last few years is focused a lot of our research capabilities, and our efforts in trying to work with governments and other partners to establish a model on how we think primary healthcare can be organised in Africa.”
Involvement in Africa’s primary healthcare sector is not new to the leading health technology company. In June 2014, Philips partnered with the local government of Kiambu County in Kenya to open the first Community Life Center (CLC) in Africa.
The CLC is an open platform aimed at strengthening primary and community healthcare by transforming the local health facility into a community hub. It’s a much-needed initiative, given that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, four in 10 people reportedly have no access to health facilities or personnel.
Within eighteen months of opening in Kiambu County, the total number of monthly outpatients grew from less than 1,000 to over 4,000; the number of children being treated quadrupled; the number of first antenatal care patients grew fifteen-fold; and the number of fourth visit antenatal care patients each month grew sixteen-fold. Westerink says this shows strong evidence that the concept is working.
“The constitution of Kenya guarantees the rights to health as contained under article 43,” says Mrs. Jacqueline Mogeni, CEO, Council of Governors, Kenya. “The Council of Governors of Kenya is looking forward to closely collaborating with the SDG Partnership Platform to help accelerate universal access to primary healthcare in Kenya’s 47 counties through unlocking transformative public-private partnership investments.”
Already the second CLC was inaugurated in Tadu village in the Democratic Republic of Congo late last year, and work is currently underway on a CLC in Mandera County in North-Eastern Kenya.
Noting excitement about the ambitious new Partnership Platform, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Kenya, Siddharth Chatterjee, says “Everyone has a role to play in the delivery of the SDGs and partnering with responsible, innovative businesses such as Philips in that process raises our chances of becoming the first generation to end poverty.”
About Royal Philips:
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2013 sales of EUR 23.3 billion and employs approximately 113,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.