The idea for LifeNet was born when US entrepreneur, Michael Spraggins, considered sub-Saharan Africa’s staggering mortality figures and saw in them an underserved market. Michael recruited an investment analyst and a registered nurse to join him in developing a new kind of solution to Burundi’s healthcare delivery challenges. In 2009, they assessed the viability of a program to ramp up Burundi’s supply of pharmaceuticals but soon discovered that the most important missing component in the supply chain was further upstream: at the point of diagnosis and consultation.
The church-based health centers LN encountered were uniquely positioned to address the health needs of their communities, and the health center staff wanted desperately to provide high-quality care. But they were up against crippling structural barriers.
Health centers without basic medical equipment could not offer patients the services they needed. Staff expended scarce time and resources traveling to and from the capital city of Bujumbura to search for essential medicines. Administrative staff struggled to keep track of earnings and expenses.
Medical staff neglected to wash hands between patients or clean thermometers between uses. Maternity nurses did not know infant CPR. Nurses administered dangerous and even lethal doses of medication – all for lack of basic training. These faith-based health centers account for 40 to 70% of the health infrastructure in Africa, according to the UN.
In pursuit of an asset-light model that could be replicated on a large scale, LifeNet tested a program to provide microloans and basic medicine to nurses to enable them to better serve their communities. After additional pilots and modifications, the LifeNet model, with its emphasis on high-impact training, partnerships, scalability and sustainability was launched in 2012.
IN THE US
PO Box 21457
2300 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
+1 (202) 480-9002
26 Avenue Ngendandumwe
Lifenet International Uganda
Princes Anne Drive, Plot 56 Bugolobi Kampala Uganda
Off Presidential Highway,
Plot Number 116, Area 14
Lifenet International Kenya
Lenana Road, Nairobi Kenya
30 Spiess Loop, McCarthy Hill
We were chosen as one of 25 high impact healthcare delivery solutions for the
2015 Social Innovation in Health Initiative, in partnership with the World Health Organization.