On September 4th, 2019, the Impact Hub Lagos powered by Merck & Make-IT in Africa and HYBR hosted the first eHealth Meetup on “Funding Health: The $30 Trillion Industry”. The goal of the event was to bring together entrepreneurs supported by the Merck & Make-IT in Africa “Joint Africa Startup Program“ and key stakeholders in the health ecosystem to discuss how to improve the health sector in Nigeria by using (new) technologies, achieving healthy lives and well being amongst Nigerians. 53 participants attended the meetup.

Panelists included those from both the private and public sector. They discussed how each of their industries was working on closing key gaps in health infrastructure in Nigeria:

  • Dr. Debo Odulana, founder of Dooctora, and Dare Odumade, founder of Chekkit Technologies, are two entrepreneurs supported by Make-IT in Africa which discussed the challenges and high- level gaps (e.g. financial barriers) for entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry.
  • Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank, talked about what he perceives as the problems in healthcare in Nigeria today. After his talk, Impact Hub Lagos digitally shared Sterling Bank’s presentation on enabling digital platform that supports electronic medical records and an inventory management system. The presentation also emphasized the Sterling Bank’s capacity building programme for healthcare professionals helping put structure in their businesses.
  • Obinnia Abajue, CEO of Hygeia HMO, laid out the reason for health insurance and the role of HMOs (Health Maintenance Organisation) which includes demand aggregation, monitoring and accountability and efficient capital allocation.
  • Tolu Ajomale, a representative of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, shared Lagos state’s vision of universal health care for all Lagos State citizens through a National Health Insurance Scheme.

After the presentation of each panelist, the audience was invited to a Q&A session. Overall, all participants were very pleased with the event. The panelists and many participants/ entrepreneurs could connect in the intimate setting of the eHealth Meetup. Representatives from Impact Hub Lagos believe that the implementation of further eHealth Meetups supported by Merck & Make-IT in Africa will continue to create cross cutting initiatives across the healthcare sector.


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