Royal Philips, the health and wellbeing arm of technology giant Philips, has joined hands with NGO AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) to improve the provision of healthcare across Africa.

Under a unique, shared-value partnership model, the groups said they plan to "bring about a structural improvement in the healthcare infrastructure and healthcare provision" on the continent.

Complex healthcare challenges in Africa are driven by a high but largely preventable incidence of infant and maternal mortality, a burgeoning number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, poorly equipped medical facilities and inadequately trained clinical staff. 

To help tackle these issues, AMREF and Philips will connect their networks and bring to market new education and training programs designed specifically for healthcare professionals in Africa and, in cooperation with local stakeholders, plan to develop and implement projects to modernise healthcare infrastructure and improve accessibility for patients. 

The alliance, forged under Philips' Fabric of Africa initiative, aims to help AMREF "achieve its social goals" of equipping communities with the knowledge, skills and means to maintain their good health and break the cycle of poor health and poverty.

And on Philips' side, the long-term strategic partnership should help the company "in its ambition to improve the lives of people in Africa, while at the same time realising growth across the fast-evolving African healthcare market".