Health-tech startups need support in COVID-19 fight – Report

A report by healthcare consulting firm, Salient Advisory, has urged donor agencies, governments and impact investors to support more African health-tech innovators.  

The report, which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is titled, “Innovations in Health Product Distribution Sub-Saharan Africa”. 

Its findings show a more than 100% increase in technology-based business models working to change how healthcare products are distributed, since 2018.

53% of the companies surveyed reported that they “hoped to support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines by providing trusted information, track-and-trace services, supporting last-mile delivery and aiding in vaccine administration.” 

Propelled by COVID-19, businesses that pair telemedicine with product delivery are the most common offerings among new entrants. For the first time, the number of innovators that report operating in both urban and rural areas (49%) surpassed those operating exclusively in urban areas (48%), driving scale, impact and profitability. 

Salient Advisory’s report has therefore called for more in terms of support, funding, and the provision of infrastructure access to innovators across Africa, who can have a positive and impactful effect on the health care systems. 



At the launch of the report, the Director of Salient Advisory, Remi Adeseun, said, “While technology-driven innovations continue to grow, our report has highlighted many constraints faced by innovators across the continent, including the lack of access to capital and unharmonised regulatory environments. Salient is now calling on all global health players, but in particular, those who operate across Africa, to move quickly to engage high-potential innovations, to build healthcare supply chains of the future.” 

The data for Salient’s report was gathered between November 2020 and April 2021, from 155 companies.  

The full report is available here 

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