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Philips Community Life Center brings quality primary care to 40,000 people in one of the world’s most challenging regions in Africa

• Mandera County Government, UNFPA and Philips enable community development in a region that has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world
• Scalable modular concept is part of Philips’ new business model to improve access to care and grow footprint in Africa

Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Nairobi, Kenya – WEBWIRE
A Community Life Center nurse is doing a pregnancy scan on a Mandera woman with Philips ultrasound technology
A Community Life Center nurse is doing a pregnancy scan on a Mandera woman with Philips ultrasound technology

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Government of Mandera County, Kenya, today opened a new Community Life Center (CLC) in Mandera county. Helping to establish this new primary care and community hub is part of Philips’ ongoing commitment to improve access to quality primary healthcare and decrease maternal and infant mortality rates – a huge challenge across Sub-Saharan Africa. The CLC is a scalable, self-sufficient concept for primary healthcare delivery that Philips is pioneering in Africa, which it aims to introduce across the continent.

One of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios

In Sub-Saharan Africa, four in ten people have no access to health facilities or health personnel, and for those that do, the quality of services is often low [1]. The need for primary healthcare in Mandera County is unparalleled; the region is hard to reach, not secure, and is a dry part of North-Eastern Kenya with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios, amounting to 3,795 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births [2]. At the same time, it is a border region that struggles with a growing number of refugees fleeing the Somalian civil war and in need of care. Other challenges include a lack of qualified healthcare workers, non-operability of available medical equipment, a lack of electricity, water and basic healthcare technology, plus a lack of sustainability and reliable data on the population’s health.

The newly inaugurated CLC will provide the community with modern, high quality, integrated health services for mother and child care, together with general health services and facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases. The technologies available in the CLC have been developed in Philips’ Africa Innovation Hub to ensure they address local needs and can function under the challenging local circumstances. By using robust low-resource medical solutions, such as automated breathing monitors to detect pneumonia (ChaRM), wind-up fetal heart rate monitors and portable tablet-based ultrasound scanners, Philips is ensuring high-quality care delivery even in the absence of electricity supplies or even batteries. At the same time, the CLC will offer the community a clean energy supply, employment opportunities, and going forward, the potential to develop commercial activities. It will also act as a secure social activity hub within reach of around 40,000 people.

“The healthcare challenges in Mandera are hugely concerning; and they are a reflection of the issues and realities faced by millions of individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Jasper Westerink, CEO of Philips Africa. “Philips has been dedicated to advancing primary healthcare in Africa for many years, with a strong focus on mother and child care. Through the Philips Community Life Center platform, we have introduced a new value delivery model. Our ambition is to introduce this model throughout Africa to drastically improve access to primary care.”

“The inauguration of the CLC in Mandera is an important milestone in finding new ways for significantly advancing maternal and new-born health outcomes in the 6 counties [3] in Kenya, which contribute close to 50% of all maternal deaths in the country,” said Dr. Ademola Olajide, UNFPA Country Representative to Kenya. “We look forward to continue learning from its operations and seeing how it will contribute to improvement in the lives and well-being in the community.”

Scalable modular self-sufficient concept

The flexibility and modularity of the CLC platform allows it to be tailored to the local healthcare requirements, in terms of the service package offered, the volume of patients, and local needs and circumstances. The CLC in Mandera will be self-sufficient and act as a vital community hub, where technology is bundled with health services. The phase one technology package includes solar power (for a reliable clean energy supply), efficient and durable indoor and outdoor LED lighting (enabling extended opening hours and providing security to patients and staff), health care equipment (to enable patient monitoring, diagnosis and triage), laboratory equipment (especially for antenatal care tests), and refrigeration units (to preventing the spoiling of vaccines). Phase two will include IT-solutions (storage of patient data) and water supply and purification (preventing waterborne diseases). In addition to improvement of the facility, Philips has also supplied Outreach Kits that allow community health volunteers to extend basic health services into the community.

“Our partnership with Philips and UNFPA comes at a time when the Mandera County has a high incidence of maternal and newborn mortality resulting from preventable causes and lack of medical facilities,” said Ali Roba, Governor of Mandera County. “This co-operation is reflective of the kind of partnerships we seek to participate in with the private sector and the UN that results in uplifting the lives of our communities.”

The project, which supports the drive for universal health coverage by 2030 as set out in UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, also includes a building refurbishment program, accompanied by furniture replacement and capacity strengthening for all aspects of care, including clinical, application and technical training. This will ultimately strengthen Mandera County’s community and primary healthcare system, improving both preventive and curative healthcare as well as social and economic development.



[3] Mandera, Marsabit, Migori, Wajir, Isiolo, Lamu

Click here for more information the CLC concept and Philips activities in Africa.


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