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.
Teniola Aderonke Adedeji from Nigeria and Dr Ochora Moses from Uganda have been honoured as the first prize winners, while Izath Nura from Uganda and M. Abdullahi Muhammad Habibu from Nigeria came in second. The award ceremony took place at the Galien Forum Africa, a platform celebrating creativity and excellence in African science.
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This year, the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award focused on innovations striving towards achieving Universal Health Coverage in Africa. Despite the commitment shown by several African governments to achieve this by 2030, progress has been slow. The award specifically acknowledged innovations that can help extend population coverage, broaden service coverage, and ensure financial protection for patients.
Adedeji, the CEO of Pharmarun, expressed her enthusiasm about winning the first prize, stating, “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.”
Ochora, co-founder and CEO of Photo-Kabada, shared his gratitude, saying, “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.”
The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award, a joint initiative by Speak Up Africa and IFPMA, aims to support young entrepreneurs across Africa by providing them with the necessary resources to advance their healthcare solutions for the betterment of their communities.
The award not only recognises innovative ideas but also provides financial support, mentorship programs, expert advice on intellectual property rights, media training, and access to a vast network of supporters and partners in healthcare, technology, and media.
Congratulating the winners, Yacine Djibo, executive director and founder of Speak Up Africa, emphasised, “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.”
Thomas Cueni, director-general at IFPMA, highlighted the significance of the winners’ contributions, stating, “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.”
The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award received support from various organisations including Amref Health Africa, Forum Galien Afrique, IntraHealth International, Geneva Health Forum, Women in Global Health, Adams & Adams, Global Health Technologies Coalition, and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle. Media partners include Africa.com, ScienceActu, Maddyness, ANA, and REMAPSEN.