Electronic giant – Philips’ mission to improve healthcare in Africa

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 February 2013

philipsRoyal Philips Electronics has launched “Fabric of Africa” – a collaborative campaign aimed at improving healthcare access across the continent, through public-private partnerships.

The main intention of the campaign is to develop meaningful partnerships with local and international stakeholders to improve healthcare delivery.

The company says it want to focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), maternal and child health, healthcare infrastructure, delivery and clinical training.

Speaking about the campaign, Peter van de Ven – the General Manager of Philips Healthcare Africa, said: “Creating effective healthcare solutions in Africa requires not only innovative solutions but also the ability to facilitate connections among suitable resources, people and technologies.

“Our campaign is about teaming up with key stakeholders, including governments, NGOs and the private sector, to create sustainable public-private partnerships”.

According to APO, the Philips Fabric of Africa campaign focuses on women as the ‘fabric’ of Africa and uses this theme to highlight the importance of healthy women and the positive impact they have on the continent.

The campaign reflects the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals – specifically goals 4 and 5, focusing on three key areas:

Maternal and child health

In 2010 more women died in pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world, with the region accounting for more than half (56%) of the 287,000 deaths recorded globally (1). Child mortality is also high, with 29% of global neonatal deaths occurring in Africa (2).

Non-communicable diseases  – specifically breast, cervical & cardiac health

By 2021 more people will die from NCDs in Africa than anywhere else in the world, with an expected death rate of 27% compared to 17% globally (3).

Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in Africa, followed by breast cancer.

Cardiovascular disease is the second most common cause of death in Africa after infectious diseases, accounting for 11% of total deaths. The main causes are smoking, high blood pressure, being overweight and high cholesterol (4).

Infrastructure rehabilitation and clinical training

In many African countries, there is a chronic shortage of healthcare infrastructure and suitable equipment and technology. Additionally, the lack of availability of trained and skilled healthcare professionals is an ongoing challenge to effective patient care.

During the course of the campaign, Philips aims to introduce innovative, cost-appropriate health technologies and eHealth solutions to the African market.

Through local and international partnerships, the company will provide financing solutions, technical assistance and support to strengthen health systems.

It will also support a training framework to increase the output of trained and skilled healthcare professionals in the continent.

With a presence in Africa for over a century and a strong installed base of equipment, Philips has a unique understanding of the complexities of the diverse healthcare environments and a proven track record in delivering innovative healthcare solutions across the continent.

Philips missionThe campaign showcases the need to collaborate to strengthen healthcare systems.


Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) (http://www.philips.com) is a diversified health and well-being company.

It focuses on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 118,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries.

The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming, home and portable entertainment and oral healthcare.

For more information about the Philips Fabric of Africa campaign, you can visit:


1  United Nations (UN) Inter-Agency report, “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010” (http://www.unfpa.org/public/home/publications/pid/10728) compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank.

2  World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. The health of the people: the African regional health report

(http://archive.org/details/healthofpeopleaf00worlrich).  Brazzaville, Republic of Congo: World Health Organization; 2006.

3  United Nations. 2011 Commitments to advance the Global Strategy for Women’s & Children’s Health

(http://www.who.int/pmnch/topics/part_publications/2011_pmnch_report/en/index.html).  New York, United Nations, 2011.

4  WHO AFRO Commission 2012 (http://www.afro.who.int/en/clusters-a-programmes/frh/gender-womens-health-a-ageing/highlights/3741-addressing-the-challenge-of-womens-health-in-africa.html) pages 39 & 41.





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