By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver
Philips Electronics is continuing its work to strengthen healthcare in Africa, after recently showcasing clinical solutions for maternal and child care across Africa. In early August Philips and CNBC Africa partnered to release a new series called ‘African Dialogues.’ The series provides insight into the issues at the intersection of social welfare and business in Africa. The first episode highlights how reducing child mortality rates (MDG 4) and improving maternal health (MDG 5) are progressing, as well as the challenges being faced.
The episode shares World Bank findings: “Over half of the countries that have signed up for the MDGs are not on track to achieve the under-five mortality target. The MDG  target to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015, remains difficult to measure for almost all developing countries.” The new series, as suggested by the name, offers an opportunity for dialogue and exchange of ideas regarding these complex issues within the African context.
CNBC and Philip partnered together for ‘African Dialogues’ to draw attention to circumstances affecting “the health of Africa’s future workforce” as well as gather stakeholders who can take action.
David Russell, Vice President and General Manager of Mother and Child Care Business, Philips Healthcare, is featured in the first episode. He says, “So much is changing for healthcare in Africa at the moment. Governments are starting to introduce universal health schemes and new private sector players now see opportunities across Africa. But a lot needs to come together to really improve healthcare outcomes, especially when it comes to addressing the fundamentals; it is time to take a critical look at the preventable mortality rates in Africa from complications related to pregnancy and child birth."
Other featured experts include Professor Alex van den Heever, independent healthcare economist, and Dr Dumisani Bomela, CEO of the Hospital Association of South Africa. The panel is moderated by CNBC Africa anchor, Hannah Viviers.
Philips has taken several actions to reduce newborn and maternal deaths. Russell explains the commitment, "Availability of and access to high quality, affordable care for all mothers and children should be an issue of high priority for policy makers and societies. Philips has been dedicated to mother and child care for over 40 years, and we are engaging with the government and local stakeholders to understand and support their needs around maternal and infant care."
Watch ‘Maternal and Child Healthcare in South Africa – Part 1’ of the ‘African Dialogues’ here.
Flickr photograph via kigaliwire.