6 May 2015
Philips will embark on its sixth annual journey across Africa, leaving Cape Town on 11 May and covering 12 000 kilometres, visiting 11 cities in eight countries over four-and-a-half months.
The roadshow has gained significant momentum over the past five years; this year it will again focus on advancing health care and energy efficient lighting solutions.
From the start, the ambition has been to collaborate and engage with customers, governments, NGOs and media on challenges facing Africa, according to the Dutch health and well-being company. Issues that have been tackled over the last five years have included mother and child care, the rise of non-communicable diseases, energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) and solar lighting solutions, as well as clinical education and training.
Medical education and training
During the 2014 roadshow, Philips and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) inaugurated a high-tech Medical Simulation Lab to support clinical education. It provides medical students direct access to real life situations, as well as technical know-how behind medical equipment in a contained setting.
Since the first roadshow in 2010, Philips has trained over 3 100 health care professionals across Africa. It has organised structured training workshops on maternal and child care, training practitioners where to look and what to look for, and preparing them on how to use this information to guide diagnoses and treatment decisions.
In 2015, clinical education and health care training will continue to be a priority.
Millennium Development Goals
In the past, the roadshows have had a focus on UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, related to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Several innovations and partnerships have resulted. Philips introduced its innovative, mobile ultrasound system, VISIQ during the roadshow in 2014. VISIQ is the size of a tablet and has been designed specifically to address the critical issue of maternal and infant care in remote areas.
In 2013, the Gauteng department of health, UJ and Philips launched a life-saving ambulance and response vehicle pilot project in South Africa.
These are some among several successes. As the Sustainable Development Goals supersede the Millennium Development Goals in September, Philips will continue to advance the health care agenda for Africa, providing solutions, innovations and collaborations, again with a strong focus on mother and child care, and non- communicable diseases.
Lighting and renewable energy
The Dutch company also promotes LED lighting in Africa on the roadshows, enabling efficient energy management, reducing costs, improving city life, and extending the day for rural areas with solar lighting. It has introduced several breakthrough energy-efficient LED lighting innovations.
In 2012, Philips announced an initiative to provide solar powered LED lighting for 100 small football pitches or light centres for rural communities across Africa; to date 85 light centres have been inaugurated in off-grid communities.
In 2014, it illuminated one iconic monument in every city visited on the roadshow with LED technology. The permanent lighting reduces energy consumption at the monuments by up to 80%.
The sixth Cape Town to Cairo roadshow will end in Cairo on 15 October. This year the priorities will remain the same, namely to revitalise Africa’s health care system with a strong focus on the Sustainable Development Goals; lead the way for the LED lighting revolution; and provide products and solutions that meet the aspirational needs of the rising middle class in Africa.
“I never imagined how successful this project would be when we embarked on it five years ago,” said JJ van Dongen, the senior vice president and chief executive of Philips Africa. “During this time we have consistently engaged in an open dialogue with the people of Africa, and we have sought to adapt our technologies and services to better serve the continent.”
Van Dongen was speaking ahead of the sixth roadshow, and said the company had learned an enormous amount over the past five years. “Our focus has not wavered and we will continue to play an integral role in the development of Africa. We are hugely excited about the 2015 roadshow, and we look forward to launching even greater innovations, products and partnerships that precisely address and get to the heart of Africa’s needs.”
Royal Philips is a diversified health and well-being company with a focus on cardiac care, acute care and home health care, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming, and oral health care.