Global pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, has announced the launch of the ‘In Reach Africa’ programme, an initiative aimed at facilitating quality and innovative human and animal healthcare access across the African continent.

The programme comprises of 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.

The programme will kick off in Kenya and then expand throughout major African markets including Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

A series of activities and workshops that are the building blocks of the newly launched programme already started in July. One such programme is the ‘Making More Health (MMH) Accelerator programme, which 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.

According to Boehringer Ingelheim, empowering individuals is a core part of the initiative’s strategy and the fundamental element throughout ‘In Reach Africa’.

MMH is a long-term global initiative driven by Boehringer Ingelheim in partnership with Ashoka, a global non-governmental organisation. Through MMH in Kenya, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka supported iSikCure, an app 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 programme geared towards driving more healthcare awareness and overall understanding and management of non-communicable disease (NCD) in some rural areas within Kenya.

“‘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 socioeconomic structure by working with and supporting low-income families on multiple fronts,” said Head of Corporate Division Prescription Medicine Emerging Markets at Boehringer Ingelheim, Yew Looi Liew.

Reducing the avoidable burden caused by NCDs is central to the initiative. (NCDs) are a silent epidemic in low and middle-income countries, which account for 75% of global NCDs deaths. Africa is expected to experience 3.9 million NCD-related deaths a year by 2020, a rise of more than 20%.

“Accordingly, we need to commit ourselves as an organisation 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,” said Regional Managing Director – Middle East, Turkey, Africa (META) at Boehringer Ingelheim, Enrique Manzoni.

“At Boehringer Ingelheim, we believe that everyone should have access to good health, no matter where they live,” concluded Manzoni.

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