January 2022: The State of Africa in Healthcare Access
Date: Jan 26, 2022 8:00am - 9:15am PST


The future of healthcare in Africa doesn’t look like what we see today. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the global shortage of healthcare workers at all levels. Across Africa, overburdened healthcare systems are drowning with the demands of the pandemic while attempting to address non-pandemic patients with limited budgets and inefficient systems. Prior to the pandemic, a person between 30 and 70 years old in Africa had a 1 in 5 chance of dying from a major chronic illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. This number is expected to rapidly increase.
At the same time, telehealth technologies developed by Africans to diagnose, treat, and monitor health conditions remotely are leapfrogging traditional systems of healthcare and enabling new, exciting collaborations to deliver quality digitized healthcare services wherever they may be. The transition to telehealth provides an opportunity to transform African healthcare systems. How are existing healthcare providers adapting their services to the COVID environment? What challenges and opportunities are there in accelerating telehealth? What foundations are needed to fully and effectively implement telehealth services?


Josh Ghaim, CEO, Small World Brands; Co-Founder, Ignite Venture Studio; Former CTO J&J Consumer Health

Panelist 1

Dr. Dumani Kula,Chief Operating Officer, Africa, evercare

Panelist 2

Dr. Deepa Maharaj, Africa Scientific Affairs Head, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare

Panelist 3

Joy Ncomile Ruwodo, Senior Director, Public Affairs, END Fund
consumer Healthcare


Josh Ghaim, Ph.D. (MODERATOR)

Founder and Managing Partner – IgniteGB Inc.
Co-Founder and CEO - Small World Brands Inc

Josh Ghaim is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ignite Growth Brands (IgniteGB), a new brand and innovation accelerator focused in the health and beauty markets as well as investments and support of women and minority led startups. Josh is also the co-founder and CEO of Small World Brands, the parent company of Nuria Beauty and Recharge Health brands.
Dr Dumani Kula

Dr. Dumani Kula

Chief Operating Officer, Africa, Evercare Group

Dr. Dumani Kula is the Chief Operating Officer, Africa, Evercare Group. He has over two decades of frontline and clinical leadership experience across public and private healthcare, and a wealth of knowledge in the provision, financing, and turnaround of local and international healthcare services. Dr. Kula is driven by Evercare’s social purpose to provide communities in the countries we serve access to safe, quality healthcare and improve lives.

Dr. Deepa Maharaj

Africa Scientific Affairs Head, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare

Deepa is a passionate pharmacist, having achieved her PhD in Pharmacy and authoring a number of peer reviewed articles. She has over 18 years of pharmaceutical industry experience with health and wellness products working for a number of multinational companies. Most of her tenure has been spent building and shaping the healthcare and regulatory frameworks in Africa by championing practical and efficient regulatory pathways that ensure accessibility of medicines in Africa. She has been active in many trade associations such as the Africa Medicines Regulatory Harmonisation (AMRH) and some Africa-based COVID taskforces to deliver this vision.
Joy Ncomile Ruwodo

Joy Ncomile Ruwodo

Senior Director, Public Affairs, END Fund

Joy serves as Senior Director of Public Affairs for the END Fund, a Global Health organization leading the movement to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). She is a multi-skilled, highly astute and qualified Socio-Economic Development Advocate, Marketing and Communications Executive, Strategist and Thought Leader with 23 years of experience providing bespoke solutions to companies in the global healthcare, communication consulting, marketing research, petrochemical, and mobile telecommunication sectors in the USA and Africa. Joy’s current role is focused on elevating the profile of neglected tropical diseases on the continent, as well as growing and engaging a community of African activist-philanthropists and business leaders who will join in the movement to end NTDs.

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