Sterling Bank Partners Foundation, Others On Digital Health Summit

Chioma Umeha

Sterling Bank Plc, one of the leading commercial bank, has said it is collaborating with Premier Medical Systems (PMS) and PharmAccess Foundation to host a digital health summit aimed at transforming Nigeria’s health care sector for better service delivery.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos recently, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sterling Bank, noted that although thousands of people are making individual efforts to lift Nigeria’s health care sector, such efforts are not enough to take the industry to the next level.
He said, “Our approach is to use our influence and resources to bring all collaborators in the sector together to brainstorm on the way forward through a sustainable collaboration that is digital based.”
Abubakar said, “Our operations are based on three pillars. We have an agile mind, we have a digital platform and we also have specialist skills. We are bringing the specialist skills we have to the health care sector using the digital platform. So we will find the parties that can make it digital.
“We cannot use traditional methods to catch up. We want to use the technology that is now available to leapfrog the sector. If we are to solve the problems in the health care sector in Nigeria, the solution cannot be provided by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, hospital administrators or even partners that are providing financial support.
“It can only happen when these parties come together and work out the issues. We want to be known for bringing people together to find the solution,” Abubakar said.
The CEO also noted that stakeholders in the health care sector cannot find a solution to the problem without adequate and reliable information, remarking that the current state of affairs in the sector is pitiable because anyone looking to get information about the sector will get contradictory statements from different sources.
He said the bank wants to work with digital partners to get reliable data that stakeholders in the health care sector would be able to use in their work.
Also speaking Dr. Niyi Osamiluyi of Premier Medical Systems said the Digital Health Summit would bring together stakeholders in the Nigerian digital health space. He said the theme of the summit would be, “Leveraging mobile technology for Health: Progress and Challenges.”
He said the summit would have stakeholders such as the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Communication, NITDA, NHIS, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), among others, in attendance.
The summit aims to encourage collaboration and create connections between investors, development partners, government agencies, other stakeholders and startups.
In her remarks, Ms. Njide Ndili, Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation, noted that the summit would bring people together to solve the problems of the sector as well as provide finance that would take it to the next level.
She said PharmAccess is an entrepreneurial organization with a digital agenda dedicated to connecting more people to better healthcare in Africa. It employs a multidisciplinary team of professionals in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria and the Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a committed and long-term funder of the organisation’s activity.


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