Press release 5 October 2023

Four innovators awarded Africa Young Innovators for Health Award for contributions to Universal Health Coverage

Press release

Awardees of the Africa Young Innovators 4 Health Award, 2nd edition (from left to right): Teniola Aderonke Adedeji, Pharmarun; Nura Izath, Neosave Technologies; Muhammad Abdullahi, Trash 4 Health Innovation; Sheeba Niwensiima, Photo-Kabada, accepting the Award on behalf of Moses Ochora. 

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa have announced the winners of the second edition of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. Teniola Adedeji (Nigeria) and Dr. Moses Ochora (Uganda) have been announced as first prize winners and Nura Izath (Uganda) and Muhammad Abdullahi (Nigeria) as second prize winners.

The announcement was made at the Galien Forum Africa, which celebrates creativity and excellence in science in Africa. The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award supports pioneering young entrepreneurs with financial and in-kind opportunities they need to advance their innovations for better health outcomes in their communities.

For its second edition, the Award focused on innovations to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa. Many African governments have shown their commitment to achieving UHC by 2030, but progress needs to be accelerated. The Award focused on innovation that can help extend population coverage, extend service coverage, and ensure financial protection for patients.

“Winning the first prize of the Award further validates Pharmarun’s mission of providing fast and easy access to medication. We are committed to ensuring medication access through fostering more collaborations among pharmacies to ensure universal health coverage, beginning with medication and pharmaceutical care,” said Teniola Adedeji, CEO of Pharmarun (Nigeria), an on-demand platform that offers a convenient solution to fragmented access to essential medications, and first prize winner of the Award.

“The Photo-Kabada team is humbled by this Award. This is an opportunity for us to move closer to our dreams of getting out of the lab into the clinical space where sick babies are. The Award is also a testament to the fact that homegrown solutions are part of the drivers of Universal Health Coverage,” said Dr. Moses Ochora, first prize winner of the Award and Co-Founder and CEO of Photo-Kabada (Uganda), a hybrid remotely monitored, phototherapy device created as a solution to reduce the burden, morbidity, and mortality associated with neonatal jaundice especially in low and middle-income countries.

Congratulating the winners, Award partners said:

“Reaching the goal of UHC by 2030 requires substantial public sector investment and accelerated action by governments and partners, building on solid evidence and reorienting health systems to a primary health care approach, to advance equity in both the delivery of essential health services and financial protection. It also requires fresh, bold, and fit-for-purpose health innovations, and this is why the Award’s second edition was based on this theme,” said Yacine Djibo, Executive Director and Founder of Speak Up Africa.

“Huge congratulations to the winners of this year’s Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. We wanted to guarantee gender equality in this year’s awards, and I’m delighted that two women and two men have won. IFPMA continues to be committed to accelerating innovation as part of delivering Universal Healthcare Coverage, and today’s Award winners will undoubtedly make a huge contribution to this goal,” said Thomas Cueni, Director General, IFPMA.

“Achieving universal health coverage by 2030 is crucial for fulfilling the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and realizing the fundamental human right to health. I am very thankful and supportive of such program that significantly contributes in the achievement of our common goals through tangible and intangible support to African entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director, Neglected Tropical Disease at the World Health Organization and Jury Member of the second edition.

Note to editors

The biographies of the Award winners are available on

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is a program launched by Speak Up Africa and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) in 2021. Since its launch, it has focused on supporting young health entrepreneurs across Africa with the tools they need to advance promising healthcare solutions for the betterment of their communities.

The Awards program is supported by Amref Health Africa, Forum Galien Afrique, IntraHealth International, Geneva Health Forum, Women in Global Health, Adams & Adams, Global Health Technologies Coalition, and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle. Media partners include, ScienceActu, Maddyness, ANA, and REMAPSEN. The second edition of the Award offers to winners:

  • Funding totaling $90,000 USD
  • A three-month business mentorship program from prominent business leaders
  • Expert advice on how to foster and protect their innovation through Intellectual Property rights
  • Media training and press and event opportunities to present their innovations to global audience
  • Access to a network of supporters and partners working across healthcare, technology, and media.

Ten prominent jury members participated in the final review of the candidates: Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of State of Senegal and Chair of the scientific committee for the Galien Forum AfricaJean Philbert Nsengimana Digital Health Advisor at the Africa CDC, Caroline Mbindyo, CEO Amref Health Innovations, Amref Health Africa, Dr. Shakira Choonara, member of the AHAIC State of UHC in Africa Commission, Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization, Philippe Guinot, Chief Technical Officer at IntraHealth, Dr. Karim Bendhaou, Head of Africa Bureau, Merck group and IFPMA Africa Engagement Committee, Yacine Djibo, Founder and Executive Director, Speak up Africa, Dr. Magda Robalo, President and co-founder of Institute of Global Health and Development and Kelly Chibale, Founder of H3D Foundation, University of Cape Town. They were joined by a special jury member and first prize winner of the 1st edition of the Award, Dr. Conrad Tankou, founder of Global Innovation and Creative Space (GIC Space).


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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