Novartis enhances health care technology in Nigeria
"Novartis is proud to partner with the Kaduna State Ministry of Health to implement the first ever SMS for Life 2.0 program," Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez said. "Companies must join forces with the public sector to co-create innovative solutions to improve access to healthcare around the world … to increase the quality of care for underserved patients."
The new program piggybacks on Novartis’ original 2009 SMS for Life program that relied on cell phones to manage malaria medicine inventory in sub-Saharan African nations. SMS for Life 2.0 upgrades the technology for smart phones and tablets so that local vendors can stock products to combat malaria, HIV, tuberculosis and leprosy.
Additionally, the software will enable data tracking for statistical purposes, tracking events such as maternal/infant mortality and other diseases like measles, yellow fever and cholera. Vodacom principal Vuyani Jarana joined Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, executive secretary of Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency, in commending the joint venture’s great potential for improving the supply chain in Kaduna.
"With more than 6 million people, Kaduna is Nigeria's third-most populous state,” Balarabe said. “We hope the program will improve health care services by expanding access to essential medicines, thus reducing disease prevalence in communities."
Jarana added that the initiative will contribute to better health care and enhance longevity in Nigeria.
"Our vision in partnering with Kaduna State is to support the development of productive societies which are healthy, well-educated and economically active,” he said.