An online marketplace, Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP), has been launched to provide the purchase, volume aggregation, quota management, payment facilitation as well as logistics & transportation of COVID-19-related medical equipment across the African continent.
According to Tech Cabal, the new platform provides a reliable database of global manufacturers and logistics service providers for diagnostic kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), devices like ventilators and patient monitors as well as a range of disinfectants.
All medical equipment featured on the platform are strictly those that have been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) as well as other approval and regulatory agencies and include made in Africa rapid test kits, face masks, sanitisers, protective goggles and ventilators.
Orders placed by health organisations in member states have a 5-10 days delivery timeline once payment is confirmed.
The project is an effort in collaboration between several powerful companies and entities across Africa. Companies like Janngo, a social startup studio founded by former Jumia CEO for the Ivory Coast, Fatoumata Bâ, and the Africa Center for Disease Control, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to name a few.
The platform itself was launched by African Union (AU) chairman and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Afreximbank will facilitate payments while logistics partners including African national carriers like RwandAir, global freight forwarders like FedEx and DHL, will expedite delivery.
“The Africa Medical Supply Platform is just one innovation that African countries have developed ourselves, to help mitigate the devastating impact of this pandemic that threatens both the health of our people and our national economies,” says Econet founder and African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa.
“Africa is leading the way with this online solution to ensure all of our governments get access to PPEs and other urgent medical supplies they need, at fair prices.”
With particularly challenged healthcare systems, the risks of the virus overwhelming already problematic institutions were and remain high as cases continue to increase in most parts of the continent, and in addition to government measures, private sector stakeholders have rallied around to support the production, procurement or scale the distribution of items like ventilators, test kits, as well as PPE for frontline healthcare workers.
As at today, 277, 614 cases have been confirmed in Africa and 7,435 deaths have been recorded across the continent.
“The next 100 days are critical to turnaround the exponential trend of cases and deaths. Both our sense of purpose & sense of urgency have never been stronger,” says Bâ.