Design Expo 2014: Online Discussion - Enhancing Health Outcomes


(Business Fights Poverty) #1

This online panel discussion at 3.30 UK time on Tuesday 10 June will explore the following questions:

  1. What are some of the key health challenges where business innovation can make a difference at scale?
  2. What are the key drivers for achieving better health outcomes at the base of the pyramid - is it just a matter of better products, or are the other factors such as better distribution or better community engagement?
  3. How can private sector products and distribution systems better connect with government systems?


Panelists include: Jack Castle and Carey Carpenter, Living Goods; Simon Berry, Cola Life; Erica Frenkel, Gradian Health; Ramil Burden, GlaxoSmithKline; Donika Dimovska, Program Director, Results for Development Institute; Julia Watson, DFID.

Editor's Note:

This is a text-only, written discussion. To post comments you will need to sign in / sign up to Business Fights Poverty. A list of recent comments is shown in the right-hand side bar and will refresh every 5 minutes. To refresh more often, please click on the refresh icon in your browser.

This event is part of the Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014. Running from 9 to 13 June, the Design Expo is an online celebration of products, services and business models transforming the lives of poor people. The Design Expo is a collaboration with iDE UK and is being supported by the UK's Department for International Development.

The Expo will include a vibrant mix of blogs, Google Hangouts, online panel discussions, a Twitter Jam and a virtual exhibition zone. Each day we will focus on a different sector: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June).

From Monday 9 June, you will be able to access all the activities via the Design Expo landing page, www.designexpo.businessfightspoverty.org. Participation in the Design Expo is free. You will simply need to sign in (or sign up for free) to Business Fights Poverty.



(Simon Berry) #2

Greetings from ColaLife in sunny Zambia.


(Julia Watson) #3

And from DFID in a surprisingly sunny London


(Jack Castle) #4

Hello from Living Goods in Uganda!


(Erica Frenkel) #5

Good morning from Gradian Health in sunny New York.


(Carey Carpenter) #6

Unfortunately not so sunny in Uganda today!


(Zahid Torres-Rahman) #7

Welcome to the online written discussion on enhancing access to health. We're joined by a great panel.

Let's start with the first questions:

Q1: What are some of the key health challenges where business innovation can make a difference at scale?


(Simon Berry) #8

Are you from Living Goods Carey?


(Ramil Burden) #9

Hi everyone, Ramil from GSK here. Looking forward to the discussion.


(Donika Dimovska) #10

Hello from the Center for Health Market Innovations!


(Simon Berry) #11

I would say this wouldn't I?

Diarrhoea both on the prevention and treatment sides.

On PREVENTION see for example Spring Health - http://www.springhealth.co.in/ - safe drinking water. And there's a water solution in this Expo (which I can't find at the moment).

Some say the provision of safe water is not a “public health issue” it’s a “business model issue”.

On TREATMENT see ColaLife – http://colalife.org – We know how to traet diarrhoea to stop children dying. We’ve known for 10 years yet less that 1% of children are receiving the recommended treatment of ORS and Zinc. In 12 months ColaLife got this up to 45% in two remote rural districts in Zambia through the design of an appropriate product AND its value chain. Headline results are here: http://www.colalife.org/2014/02/11/seven-of-the-headline-findings-from-the-colalife-trial-in-zambia/

The key thing about diarrhoea is that the treatment is safe, there isn’t a complicated algorithm that needs to be followed at the point of sale (ie in all cases, if your child has diarrhoea you need this product) and the medicines are ‘over the counter’ (or should be) and so any retailer can sell them – they don’t need to be a ‘health shop’ or ‘pharmacy’. AND they are cheap.


(Ramil Burden) #12

One of the key areas is around frontline health workers. We know there's not enough of them and business can play a key role in investing in them, training in them and giving them the toolkit to reach more people in the hardest to reach areas. At GSK, we invest 20% of our profits made in the least developed countries into this activity. We do this in partnership with the local community and the ministry of health. This partnership approach is vital to its long-term sustainbility.


(Julia Watson) #13

Absolutely agree. This is a great example. Plenty of behaviour change challenges, but nothing complicated about the technology.


(Jack Castle) #14

The Living Goods model focuses on addressing key challenges in maternal and child health, with a goal to have huge impact to reduce mortality for U5s. Common killers like malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and unsafe deliveries are easy and cheap to treat, but the access to high quality, affordable goods and services are not there. Drugs are often out of stock, over priced, or fake in the communities.

As Simon noted, diarrhoea is a major killer - we are trying to address this and other common illnesses using our network of entrepreneurial community health workers. Our Community Health Promoters are able to efficiently deliver key products and services to the doorsteps of the poor.


(Carey Carpenter) #15

We agree! Recruiting, training, and supporting sustainable frontline health workers systems that deliver high-quality impact at scale is the essence of the Living Goods model.


(Simon Berry) #16

Here's the one in the Expo - Smart Life in Kenya:

http://designexpo.businessfightspoverty.org/design-expo-showcase/smartlife-water-health-in-kenya/


(Erica Frenkel) #17

I think we are hard pressed to discuss an area of health where, if a business has effectively identified a scalable product/solution to an entrenched problem, it would not be able to make a difference at scale. What may be more critical is engaging more businesses in the realm of health, particularly in under-served markets so that scaling were a challenge being addressed by more great minds...


(Ramil Burden) #18

It's a really important point, Simon, because many illnesses in the developing world are often around things like diarrhoea and pneumonia, which in the northern hemisphere aren't deadly but in the southern hemisphere often are. Tackling these diseases together is really important. Vaccination has a key role to play here.


(Simon Berry) #19

We can also 'para-skill' retailers so that they can promote their own products. We use Community Health Workers too but they are often over-stretched and sometimes there are difficulties with the notion that they should be funnelling people towards the private sector rather than towards the public sector. What's the experience of others?


(Donika Dimovska) #20

We at CHMI profile over 1,200 programs, policies and practices with the potential to address key health challenges. For example, business innovations in delivery, such as the numerous emerging chains of low-cost/high-quality primary care clinics, have the potential to contribute to both national and global health priorities. Taking these types of innovations to scale is the big challenge!