Bringing innovations to life to achieve Universal Health Coverage in Africa

UHC Day, December 12, 2023

In 2021, 4.5 billion people were not fully covered by essential health services. Protecting people from the financial consequences of paying for health services out of their own pockets reduces the risk that people will be pushed into poverty.

UHC means everyone has access to the healthcare services that they need, of good quality, without the risk of financial hardship (WHO 2007). To achieve #UHC in Africa, young people must be empowered to make informed decisions, develop local innovations and participate in decision-making processes affecting their health.

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award (AYIHA), the youth flagship program of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa, celebrates the ingenuity of young African entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

This UHC Day, we celebrate and recognize the four young leaders who won the second edition of the AYIHA program and their trailblazing innovations. Mrs. Teniola Aderonke Adedeji from Nigeria and Dr. Ochora Moses from Uganda stood out as first prize winners, with their innovations marking significant strides toward UHC in Africa. Mrs. Izath Nura and M. Abdullahi Muhammad Habibu, also from Nigeria, were honored as second prize winners. These innovators, through their unique perspectives and commitment, are vital to the quest for healthcare for all, as recognized during the UHC Day celebrations.

“By aggregating pharmacies, streamlining logistics, and embracing digital solutions, our platform ensures that essential medications reach individuals across communities promptly,” she shared. Dr. Ochora Moses, another first prize winner and the mind behind Photo-Kabada, highlighted the need for local solutions to meet health challenges. He stated, “Photo-Kabada is a phototherapy device that treats simultaneously three babies with jaundice. For Africa to achieve UHC, we need to focus on developing our local solutions because we understand them better.”

Mrs. Teniola Aderonke Adedeji, CEO of Pharmarun and first prize winner, emphasized the importance of her platform in enhancing the accessibility, affordability, and quality of healthcare.

Second prize winner Mrs. Izath Nura, CEO of Neosave, described her innovation, Autothermo, as a lifeline for babies, enhancing efficiency in regions with a shortage of skilled health workers.

“Our collective journey to Universal Health Coverage is embodied in this device, urging collaboration and awareness for a brighter, healthier future across our continent,” she reflected.  Mr. Abdullahi Muhammad, Founder of Trash-4-Health and another second prize winner, underscored the role of his initiative in leveraging waste as a valuable resource to improve healthcare access. He noted, “Through these efforts, we aim to align with the commitments of Universal Health Coverage by investing in comprehensive health coverage, strengthening health systems…and promoting innovation to ensure equitable access for all.”

Mrs. Izath Nura, CEO of Neosave

Through the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award, we acknowledge the outstanding contributions of young entrepreneurs creating innovative solutions every day to shape safer, better, and healthier futures and build their capacity to realize their potential as the enablers of change within the healthcare landscape – today.  Their efforts are a testament to the power of youth-led innovation in shaping a healthier, more inclusive future for Africa.