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Philips and Amref strengthen commitment to enable Universal Health Coverage in Africa

Building on the success of Philips’ Community Life Centers, Philips and Amref cement their commitment to improving access to care for 10 million people in underserved African communities


Since the beginning of their collaboration in 2013, Amref and Philips have brought innovations and solutions to the market that have enabled community-centered affordable solutions to bridge health system gaps on the African continent. By developing solutions that can be readily scaled, they have brought about structural improvement of healthcare infrastructures and healthcare provision. As a result of their success in accelerating Universal Health Coverage (UHC) over the last six years, Philips and Amref have now signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to extend their cooperation by a further three years.  

“The most innovative technology in the world will only be effective if it is aligned with the community it is intended to serve, including considering the infrastructure and challenges of the environment,” said Dr Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO, Amref Health Africa. "By joining forces in a new model of social enterprise, we at Amref and Philips have been helping to solve many of the problems that beset healthcare in Africa, such as the high mortality rate among mothers and children and the acute shortage of medical personnel. Our joint approach has been central to our success and will continue to be the cornerstone of our collaboration over the next three years.”

“Universal health coverage is essential for inclusive development and prosperity, particularly for mothers and children.”
Jasper Westerink, CEO, Philips Africa.

“Universal health coverage is essential for inclusive development and prosperity, particularly for mothers and children,” said Jasper Westerink, CEO, Philips Africa. “We have through our collaboration with Amref seen our combined commitment to maternal and child healthcare, have a direct and dramatic positive impact on the quality of people’s lives. Given the need for quality healthcare across the continent and recognising how big a challenge it is, I am delighted that we are continuing our collaboration with Amref.

An example of an initiative that Philips and AMREF have been collaborating on are the Philips Community Life Centers (CLCs) that have been instrumental in developing and testing public-private partnership models to advance community and primary care in Africa. They have also provided a platform for Amref to strengthen sustainable healthcare systems in Africa – for example, by training a total of around 250 clinical staff in the centers. Set up in partnership with NGOs and local communities, Philips’ CLCs are already delivering much needed community and primary care to previously underserved communities, including point-of-care ultrasound diagnostics and improved childbirth and midwifery services in Kenya, and reproductive health services in Ethiopia.

A key feature of Philips’ CLCs is the provision of CLC Outreach Kits to community health workers. Each kit comprises a backpack containing point-of-care vital signs (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, blood oxygen level) monitoring equipment that allows community workers to triage and refer patients to the appropriate healthcare network. A special version enables midwives to carry out their work in a community-based primary health facility.

With close to 180 years of combined experience and operations on the continent, Philips and Amref are ideally placed to work in close cooperation with local stakeholders to continue implementing large-scale projects to improve healthcare infrastructure and make healthcare more accessible to the local population.

The collaboration with AMREF supports Philips’ target to improve 3 billion lives annually by 2030. Within these 3 billion lives, Philips targets to improve access to healthcare in underserved communities for 400 million people a year by 2030.

UNGA74Signing of the MoU to extend their cooperation for a further three years took place during the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa (4-6 September 2019, Cape Town, South Africa). Philips will also participate in a high-level panel discussion on Universal Health Coverage during the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA74, 17-30 September 2019, New York City, US).

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