Nigerian startup, others win $85,000 grant

Nigerian startup, others win $85,000 grant

Friday, December 3, 2021 7:44 am



By Kemi Akintokun

In a bid to address growing health challenges in Africa, Norrsken Foundation, an NGO, has selected five startups, including Nigerian based Medtech Africa, as winners of its inaugural HealthTech Hub Africa Challenge.

The NGO has partnered with Novartis Foundation that provided a total grant of 85,000 dollars to the startups.

Pascal Murasira, Managing Director of Norrsken East Africa, said that the five top startups that emerged winners we re Insightiv in Rwanda, Medtech Africa based in Nigeria and Klarah in Cameroon.

Others are Afia Group Limited in Rwanda and Lifesten Health from Rwanda.

He said the five were chosen through an open competition with the top five start-ups winning financial grants.
The first-place winner insightiv received 30,000 dollars, Medtech Africa 20,000 dollars, while Klarah gets 20,000 dollars.

Afia Group and Lifesten Health received 10,000 and 5,000 dollars respectively.

Dr Ann Aerts, Head of Norvatis Foundation, who spoke during a zoom event, said that even though life expectancy in Africa had increased by more than ten years, chronic diseases were becoming more.

“We hope the technologies developed at the HealthTech Hub Africa will make a real difference to accelerate detection and access to quality care for chronic diseases.

“Life expectancy has increase by more than 10 years in Africa but diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, among others, are on the rise.

“The Novartis Foundation has had a long commitment to improving access to healthcare through breakthrough technologies.

“We know the global health challenge is unprecedented and the health system on the continent cannot meet all the health need of Africa.

“That is why we are using the power of technology and innovation to scale up delivery in Africa,” she said.

Speaking also, Murasira said the hub was designed to accelerate the development of innovative solutions to challenging health issues in Africa.

“We are excited to be launching the HealthTech Hub challenge and hosting the HealthTech Hub Africa at the Norrsken Kigali House.

“This is a space where HealthTech startups can work together and collaborate, which will revolutionise the industry by cutting down the cost of care and democratizing access to quality.

“One of the world’s biggest problems is ensuring better health for the people of Africa in the face of staff shortages, budget constraints and the continuing threat from COVID-19,” he said.

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