Four innovators awarded Africa Young Innovators for Health Award for contributions to Universal Health Coverage 

5 OCTOBER 2023, DAKAR, SENEGAL – The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa have announced the winners of the second edition of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. Mrs Teniola Aderonke Adedeji (Nigeria) and Dr. Ochora Moses (Uganda) have been announced as first prize winners and Mrs Izath Nura (Uganda) and M. Abdullahi Muhammad Habibu (Nigeria) as second prize winners. The announcement was made at the Galien Forum Africa, which celebrates creativity and excellence in science in Africa. The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award supports pioneering young entrepreneurs with financial and in-kind opportunities they need to advance their innovations for better health outcomes in their communities. 

For its second edition, the Award focused on innovations to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa. Many African governments have shown their commitment to achieving UHC by 2030, but progress needs to be accelerated. The Award focused on innovation that can help extend population coverage, extend service coverage, and ensure financial protection for patients. 

“Winning the first prize of the Award further validates Pharmarun’s mission of providing fast and easy access to medication. We are committed to ensuring medication access through fostering more collaborations among pharmacies to ensure universal health coverage, beginning with medication and pharmaceutical care,” said Mrs Teniola Aderonke Adedeji, CEO of Pharmarun (Nigeria), an on-demand platform that offers a convenient solution to fragmented access to essential medications, and first prize winner of the Award.

“The Photo-Kabada team is humbled by this Award. This is an opportunity for us to move closer to our dreams of getting out of the lab into the clinical space where sick babies are. The Award is also a testament to the fact that homegrown solutions are part of the drivers of Universal Health Coverage,” said Dr. Moses Ochora, first prize winner of the Award and Co-Founder and CEO of Photo-Kabada (Uganda), a hybrid remotely monitored, phototherapy device created as a solution to reduce the burden, morbidity, and mortality associated with neonatal jaundice especially in low and middle-income countries.

Congratulating the winners, Award partners said: 

“Reaching the goal of UHC by 2030 requires substantial public sector investment and accelerated action by governments and partners, building on solid evidence and reorienting health systems to a primary health care approach, to advance equity in both the delivery of essential health services and financial protection. It also requires fresh, bold, and fit-for-purpose health innovations, and this is why the Award’s second edition was based on this theme,” said Yacine Djibo, Executive Director and Founder of Speak Up Africa.

“Huge congratulations to the winners of this year’s Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. We wanted to guarantee gender equality in this year’s awards, and I’m delighted that two women and two men have won. IFPMA continues to be committed to accelerating innovation as part of delivering Universal Healthcare Coverage, and today’s Award winners will undoubtedly make a huge contribution to this goal,” said Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA.

“Achieving universal health coverage by 2030 is crucial for fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and realizing the fundamental human right to health. I am very thankful and supportive of such program that significantly contributes in the achievement of our common goals through tangible and intangible support to African entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director, Neglected Tropical Disease at the World Health Organization and Jury Member of the second edition.