My Bridge International has ambitious plans to improve medical care in Africa. Part of our plans involves creating a digital medical portal where UK drug and equipment manufacturers and UK doctors, nurses, and medical engineers can interact with African hospitals and clinics. Covid- 19 pandemic has made clear the disparity in healthcare between those in Europe and America compared with those in Africa. We are seeking pledges and donations of equipment, drugs, and professional expertise to populate and test our new digital matching system.
We have started approaching trusts and foundations for funding to build a prototype of the digital interface. After successfully proving the initiative's viability, the aim is to then scale up further through either sponsorship or statutory funding.
Why is the Medical Portal a Necessity?
- There is abundant medical equipment in high-income countries going spare as most instruments are discarded after 75% of possible usage.
- There is medical equipment shortage in Africa.
- There is no organisation efficiently matching supply and demand.
- Lack of a drug, even something like Paracetamol, can be catastrophic for African clinics.
- Manufacturers and UK hospitals often have surplus drugs that will end up passing their sell-by dates.
- Many African medics are using techniques picked up when trained overseas.
- Video technology, such as Zoom and MS Teams, means that CPD can be delivered virtually.
- Currently, no organisation provides a unified CPD training interface for African medical practitioners.
This Pioneering System will create a Virtual Marketplace
African clinics can state their drug, equipment and training needs.
High-income-country doctors and nurses can post their availability and respond to volunteer requests from African hospitals and clinics.
High-income-country hospitals can flag spare and redundant equipment and respond to drug requests from African establishments.
Equipment and drug manufacturers can offer surplus stock and respond to requests from Africa.
Who Has Already offered Help
Functionalities of The Initial Digital System
- A dedicated space, describing who they are and what they do.
- Developing an interface where users can enter details of what they are willing to donate, including a self-certified estimate of its value.
- A summary of what they have donated and what has been taken up, e.g. a medical equipment manufacturer could see that it had donated £100,000 worth of equipment of which £10,000 had been taken up by a hospital in Cameroon.
- A dedicated page, describing who and where they are, and what they do.
- A summary of requested items and what had been received, e.g. a hospital in Cameroon could see that they had taken up £5,000 worth of medication from a drug manufacturer, £4,500 of drugs, and £500 of in-kind support from a London hospital.
- A facility that generates reports for funders, including government ministries, that show the total amounts of support offered and taken up, broken down in three ways:
- In-kind support (such as CPD training)
For example, we might show that £1,000,000 of equipment, £500,000 of drugs, and £100,000 of in-kind support was offered in the first year, of which £500,000 of equipment was taken up, along with £200,000 of drugs, and £25,000 of in-kind support. We will break this into countries too, e.g. if we met with the Health Minister of Cameroon, we would provide such figures for his/her country alone.