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My foundation has funded 700 health entrepreneurs – Elumelu

Chairman of United Bank for Africa Group and Founder, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, has said the private and public sectors and the development world must prioritize appropriate capital allocation and investments in innovation to drive global improvements in health outcomes across Africa.

He disclosed that his foundation has funded 700 healthcare entrepreneurs, with a gender distribution ratio of 49% male to 51% female.

 Elumelu stated this in his remarks at the Abu Dhabi Health Forum held at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

According to him, “these entrepreneurs have gone on to help communities and even their countries in advancing health care delivery in Africa.”

Elumelu further stated that Big pharmaceutical companies have a role to play to ensure a sustainable health future for all, adding, “there is a need to review the current patent system and effect reforms while still incentivizing innovation.”

“There also needs to be incentives for big pharma to partner on R&D for diseases from lower income countries.

“Incentives for investing in R&D and manufacturing facilities for big pharma in developing countries are also important — so leveraging the global trade system is also an important element of global health equality.

“We need to work innovatively across social sectors to achieve results. A high percent of health care facilities in Africa do not have reliable power supply (I think it’s around 40%) — without power, the health outcomes will be low.”

He noted that climate change has complicated access to healthcare, saying climate funds can be accessed to address health care.

“With private sector innovation, start-up funding from foundations and financial institutions, health care policies from national and global health systems, investments from all as well as cross sector collaboration, we can definitely move humanity forward,” he added.

He called for global health equity, stating that poor health “outcomes affect all everywhere.”

“Speaking frankly, Africa is behind, with limited budgets and poor healthcare infrastructure,” he added.


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