West Africa’s leading electronic medical records providers, Helium Health, is set to grow its customer base across Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, North Africa and Francophone West Africa this year.
The Lagos based start-up, disclosed this when it completed a $10 million funding round last week.
Global Ventures, a Dubai-based firm, and Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC) led the investment round, as the duo step up their hunt for health-related startups amid the coronavirus pandemic.
General Partner and Founder, Global Ventures, Noor Sweid, said “Helium Health has the opportunity to solve large problems through its software and help accelerate healthcare accessibility.”
READ MORE: Startups: Funding rounds and what they mean.
Helium Health also received investment from China’s Tencent in the Series A funding round.
Co-Founder, Helium Health, Adegoke Olubusi, said, “This new round means that we have more firepower to be able to expand the reach of our product way beyond Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia where we are now.
“When we think about the extent of the challenges and problems that we can solve in the healthcare sector in Africa, there could be a million ways in which this can help us grow.”
The company plans to use some of the funds to grow its customer base in Nigeria and Ghana. It is also expected to use the money to fund its expansion plans across Africa. The company is looking to expand to North Africa, East Africa and French Speaking West Africa.
About Helium Health
Helium Health seeks to combat the inefficiencies of paper-based health record keeping, by providing an all-in-one electronic medical record for hospitals and healthcare institutions across Africa, by integrating services such as hospital management and insurance, medical billing, digital medical record keeping etc, in a single digital platform.
Helium Health is currently being utilised by over 5,000 doctors across over 70 hospitals. Some of the hospitals currently utilising Helium Health’s product include Paelon, St Francis, Medison, CASS, amongst many others.
Africa: Ghana’s healthcare overwhelmed due to Covid-19 – President
Ghanaian President has warned that he might impose a partial lockdown as healthcare facilities are overwhelmed by growing cases of coronavirus.
The Ghanaian Government has warned that Ghana’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is rising fast and could overwhelm its already extended Covid-19 treatment centres.
This was disclosed by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday in a Reuters report.
The Ghanaian President warned that he might impose a partial lockdown in the coming weeks as cases might reach peak levels.
Active cases in Ghana climbed to 1,924 from about 900 since the 5th of January. He also confirmed that the new variant was present in the country, as cases were imported from people entering Ghana.
The President said,
- “Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections. At this current rate, our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed.
- “Work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country were running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections, as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.
AfCFTA: Nigerian Commodities Exchange prepared for agreement – MD
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Commodities Exchange has stated that the agency is fully prepared to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
The Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX) is well-positioned to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), through the implementations of several measures to ensure smooth export operations of Nigerian Commodities.
This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the Commodities Exchange, Mrs. Zaheera Baba-Ari, in an interview on Sunday in Abuja.
- “The establishment of the continental trade bloc will be beneficial to African countries if properly managed.”
She added that the NCX had an established network of 20 warehouses across major production areas in the six geo-political zones of the country for efficient receipt and storage of agro-commodities to be traded on the exchange.
The warehouses, located in Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, Bauchi, Sokoto, Plateau, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Kogi, have a combined capacity to store 50 trillion tonnes of goods. She added that warehouses in Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba, Jigawa, Edo, Cross River and Ondo States would be ready within the year.
The NCX boss said that AfCFTA would help Africa fight challenges that were caused by the pandemic in the continent’s economies through trade.
- “The NCX has acquired robust Trading Application System for seamless buying and selling of commodity to ensure market integrity, price transparency and the facilitation of cross border trades.
- “It has also acquired a Warehouse Management System that assures an efficient management of warehouse inventories. We have perfected Memorandum of Understanding with relevant foreign and Nigerian Commodity Associations like the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange and the Export Merchants Association of Sudan to trade in selected agro-commodities.”
She added that the NCX has also launched Quality Assurance Laboratories in each of the delivery warehouses, stating that the labs would be used for testing the quality of commodities such as paddy rice, cocoa, sesame seed, soya beans, maize, sorghum and cashew nuts that would be traded on the exchange.
The NCX Chief said the labs were certified to ISO22000 certification which combines ISO 9001 with Food Safety Management and Hazard Analysis, including Critical Control Point System (HACCP).
- “The HACCP identifies specific hazards and proffers measures for the control of identified impurities in the food processing sector. The issue of tariff on agro-commodity exports from Nigeria should be addressed to increase efficiency of trade flows.
- “There is also the need for Nigeria to improve its position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking from its current 131st rung of the ladder.”
What you should know
- Nigeria was the 34th African country to fully ratify and submit its Instrument of Ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
- Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited said that the African Continental Free Trade Area would create the desired impetus to stimulate the economic growth of Nigeria in 2021.
- Customs officials in the continent agreed to draft continental guidelines to enable the movement of goods, services and people for the agreement.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 17th of January 2021, 1,444 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 110,387 confirmed cases.
On the 17th of January 2021, 1,444 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 110,387 cases have been confirmed, 89,317 cases have been discharged and 1,435 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.15 million tests have been carried out as of January 17th, 2021 compared to 1.13 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 17th January 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 110,387
- Total Number Discharged – 89,317
- Total Deaths – 1,435
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,154,138
According to the NCDC, the 1,444 new cases were reported from 21 states- Lagos (901), Plateau (136), Kaduna (57), FCT (54), Ebonyi (53), Akwa Ibom (52), Nasarawa (32), Osun (29), Ogun (28), Imo (16), Oyo (16), Edo (15), Kano (14), Rivers (10), Ekiti (7), Borno (6), Abia (5), Benue (4), Yobe (4), Kebbi (3), Anambra (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 40,624, followed by Abuja (14,598), Plateau (6,753), Kaduna (6,178), Oyo (4,695), Rivers (4,392), Edo (3,261), Ogun (2,859), Kano (2,591), Delta (2,102), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Enugu (1,583), Kwara (1,566), Gombe (1,489), Nasarawa (1,301), Ebonyi (1,259), Osun (1,215), Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).
Borno State has recorded 865 cases, Imo (857), Sokoto (677), Akwa Ibom (667), Benue (657), Bayelsa (608), Niger (547), Adamawa (540), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (425), Taraba (258), Kebbi (251), Yobe (211), Cross River (169), Zamfara (162), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.