In addition to its COVID-19 response efforts, Philips Foundation succeeded in initiating new projects and keeping other ones going. Two examples that stand out are Philips Foundation’s joint initiative with UNICEF to fund and support the ‘Maker Innovation’ project in Kenya, and its collaboration with UK charity Global Action Plan to launch the ‘The Clean Air for Schools Framework’.
- Maker Innovation project in Kenya - a ‘change the system from within’ initiative aimed at achieving better mother-, newborn-, and child-health in low-resource environments, by fostering local hands-on innovation and entrepreneurship to locally create and manufacture solutions that meet local needs. The project’s ‘Maker Space’ is equipped with digital fabrication tools and equipment for use by students at the University of Nairobi. Through support from the Philips Foundation and training from Philips, the project has already resulted in the development of 19 medical device prototypes, seven of which have been judged suitable for further development.
- Clean Air for Schools Framework - a framework providing schools, teachers, parents and local authorities in the UK and the Republic of Ireland with an externally validated action blueprint for tackling air pollution in and around schools. With evidence suggesting that halving outdoor air pollution could result in a 20% to 50% reduction in the number of children with poor lung function , the tool was so well received that the blueprint is now being rolled out across Spain.
In 2020, Philips Foundation made a strategic decision to focus on partnerships with social entrepreneurs to develop healthcare technologies and sustainable models that provide underserved communities with affordable access to healthcare - models that leverage the business and innovation expertise and resources of Philips to facilitate solution development and scale-up.
Philips Foundation helped 50 Healthy Entrepreneurs franchisees in Uganda, small businesses in local communities that sell over-the-counter medicines and health products, to expand their services with diagnostic tools and telehealth services. This resulted in increased public awareness of disease, better insight into patients’ conditions, reduced patient expenses, and increased revenue.
In addition, Philips Foundation provided a loan to CheckUps Medical, a provider of affordable primary healthcare services in Kenya and South Sudan, to help more low-wage families access medicines and care, launch a mobile clinic, and further develop CheckUps’ teleconsultation and home care services that started during the local lockdown. Philips Foundation also enabled the setting up of the Solvoz rapid humanitarian aid procurement platform, as well as the Mondmaskerfabriek, which at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis was the Netherlands’ first surgical face mask manufacturer.
As the Philips foundation moves forward, it will continue to foster innovation and create scalable models that make healthcare provision more equal and open to millions of people in underserved parts of the world.
To read the full Annual Report, click here.
 Whitehouse A, Effects of air pollution exposure on child health and do interventions work?, Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London (UK) [PDF]
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