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Innovators urged to take advantage of the gaps in healthcare

By Betty Amamukirori, Violet Nabatanzi

Added 20th March 2019 10:20 AM

Dr. Ian Clarke, noted that the health sector is currently faced by problems such as poor infrastructure, lack of human resource and high costs of services such as treatment, and said that innovators can use this as an opportunity to come up with new ways of bettering the situation.

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(l-r) Dr. Ian Clarke, John Mark Bwanika, Emma Naluyima, Natalie Bitature, Chief of staff Simba Group and Nazeem Mohammed from Kampala Pharmaceuticals Industries during a panel discussion at the 2019 Health Innovations conference Uganda at Serena Kampala Hotel on 19 March 2019. (Photo by Miriam Namutebi).

Dr. Ian Clarke, noted that the health sector is currently faced by problems such as poor infrastructure, lack of human resource and high costs of services such as treatment, and said that innovators can use this as an opportunity to come up with new ways of bettering the situation.

Innovators have been urged to take advantage of the gaps and problems facing the healthcare sector to create solutions and bring services closer to vulnerable Ugandans.

Speaking at this year’s health innovations conference held at Serena Hotel, Natalie Bitature, the Chief of Party Simba Group, said that the sector has immerse opportunities that innovators can manipulate to come up with solutions to people’s problems.

“We have so many problems in the health sector. There are a lot of potentials for innovators throughout the whole supply chain including manufacturing and getting raw materials on time,” she said.

Under healthcare, she noted that financing and medical insurance have lots of gaps that innovators can fill through inventing people friendly ways of service delivery.

She advised them that in the process of inventing solutions, they should focus more on creating durable products that can be used as many times and by many people as possible since the Ugandan population is a growing one.

She also said that instead of complaining of lack of skills in certain stages of their invention, they should focus on being social innovators whereby they work on only stages for which they are skilled in and let others do the rest.

Dr. John Mark Bwanika, a founding partner of the Medical Concierge Group noted that innovators can also explore how SMS can be used in the health sector to reach the poor population that do not have access to the internet and smart phones.

He noted that this will help bring equity in health service delivery in the country.

Dr. Ian Clarke, noted that the health sector is currently faced by problems such as poor infrastructure, lack of human resource and high costs of services such as treatment, and said that innovators can use this as an opportunity to come up with new ways of bettering the situation.

On weak copyright laws and bureaucracy in registering patents, Bitature urged the innovators to find better ways to work with people who duplicate their patents through selling prototypes to them. This, she said, will help them learn from their work.

The health innovation conference is an annual event which started last year. This year it is being held under the theme ‘sustainable health in the fourth industrial revolution’.

Dr. Umar kakumba, the Makerere University deputy vice chancellor noted that the theme perfectly blends with the sustainable development goals.

He noted that under the fourth industrial revolution, the world is moving at a fast pace and the health sector is increasing having challenges of coming up with innovative ways of providing health services.

He said through use of ICTs, innovators can come up with ways through which the sector can efficiently deliver services to the most vulnerable communities.

 

 

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