Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, announced today the launch of the ‘In Reach Africa’ program, an initiative aimed at facilitating quality and innovative human and animal healthcare access across the African continent.
The program, set to kick off in Kenya and expand throughout major African markets including Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda, comprises a range of key elements that aim at adding more value to overall health systems, in an effort to drive access to care, support with the development of innovative health solutions, creating community based partnerships and raising awareness around key disease areas as well as prevention mechanisms.
A delegate of senior executives from Boehringer Ingelheim’s global network has recently arrived to Kenya to inaugurate the start of ‘In Reach Africa’ by participating in a series of activities and workshops that are the building blocks of the newly launched program.
The senior visit reflects the company’s underlying commitment towards working with the right partners throughout Africa with the aim of addressing key infrastructure and access priorities across the continent.
“In Reach Africa’ shares a vision of driving accessibility, sustainability and innovation through enhancing health systems in Africa by providing an accessible range of medication and healthcare solutions, increasing awareness of key disease priorities through reach and enriching knowledge and education initiatives.
In doing so, it is designed to add more value to the socio-economic structure by working with and supporting low income families on multiple fronts” said Yew Looi Liew, Head of Corporate Division Prescription Medicine Emerging Markets at Boehringer Ingelheim.
“Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a silent epidemic in low and middle-income countries, which account for 75 per cent of global NCDs deaths. Africa is expected to experience 3.9m NCD-related deaths a year by 2020, a rise of more than 20 per cent.
Accordingly, we need to commit ourselves as an organization to working together with all other healthcare players to build an infrastructure that is sustainable, and one which can ensure needed therapies are available in even the most remote areas. At Boehringer Ingelheim, we believe that everyone should have access to good health, no matter where they live”concluded Yew_Looi Liew.
Enrique Manzoni, Regional Managing Director – Middle East, Turkey, Africa (META) at Boehringer Ingelheimsaid, “At the heart of this program is creating more awareness around key health issues being for humans or animals, facilitating accessibility to medication as well as developing innovative healthcare solutions.
Following a thorough assessment of the current landscape across the region, ‘In Reach Africa’ has been developed to partner with multiple key local stakeholders to empower the health systems and individuals alike to establish a sustainable and holistic approach that connects to human and animal health priorities across the African continent.
It is a tailored, modern approach, and one which is designed to adapt to the current healthcare realities in Africa.”
“Empowering individuals is a core part of our strategy and the fundamental element throughout ‘In Reach Africa’. For example, we have deployed several initiatives such as the ‘Making More Health (MMH) Accelerator program that supports social health entrepreneurs to strengthen and scale their work, by bringing some of the best experiences in social and health innovation as well as global health to improve access across Sub-Saharan Africa” added Manzoni.
MMH is a global initiative developedin partnership between Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka, a global non-governmental organisation, aimed at creating social impact. It is the core driver of social entrepreneurship, innovation and co-creation for Boehringer Ingelheim in Africa and across the world by developing a range of approaches that aim to improve health outcomes.
Through MMH in Kenya, Boehringer Ingelheim and Askoka supported iSikCure, an application developed to improve access to quality care and safe medicine. In 2017, Boehringer Ingelheim, in partnership with Access Afya and PharmAccess, launched Akiba Ya Roho, a micro-savings program geared towards driving more healthcare awareness and overall understanding and management of non-communicable disease in some rural areas within Kenya. Boehringer Ingelheim has a longstanding legacy working across Africa.
As part of its corporate citizenship mandate, the company’s history in eradicating diseases throughout the continent has been reflected in multiple programs. For example, Africa is considered the most affected region by HIV/AIDS in the world, particularly amongst young women. In the year 2015, close to 26 million people were living with HIV, of whom 2.3 million were children under the age of 15 years, where many of them received the virus from their mothers.
Furthermore, 90% of the children in the world living in HIV were across the sub-Saharan Africa. The overall estimate of HIV throughout the region was at 4.8%. As part of the company’s efforts, Boehringer Ingelheim worked with its partners including UNICEF to donate solutions and products that help reduce the transmission of HIV from mother-to-children in pregnant women. The program has resulted in over two million mothers being treated.