Telehealth Pilot

Future of Healthcare in Africa:

Expanding digitized healthcare services by mobilizing African medical professionals abroad

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 patient needs with limited budgets and inefficient systems.


Previous to the pandemic, a person aged between 30 and 70 years living in Africa had a 1 in 5 chance of dying from one of the major chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. We expect that number to rapidly increase this year.


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 to whomever has a cell phone connection and wherever they may be.


Medical professionals no longer need to be in Africa to provide quality health care and diagnostics in the context of where people live and work on the Continent. Technology innovations like secure data analytics are also enabling faster response times, especially those in crisis.

The future of healthcare in Africa looks like:

The key to building this future is African-led collaboration, for which ADN is known. That’s why ADN is developing a project with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to leverage technology that expands digital health access, at home or point of care diagnostics, wellness and prevention opportunities, and medicine delivery directly to consumers and patients when needed.

The future of healthcare in Africa looks like us. Our program stands out from the others because we will mobilize African medical professionals from the Diaspora — highly trained doctors and nurses who know what the challenges & opportunities are, who may speak the same languages, and who can connect and build trust with clients, and work together with peer African doctors and nurses on the ground to deliver exceptional care. Together, with an African-led telehealth platform provider, we will also bring the latest technological and data analytics advances to simplify and make healthcare efficient — including emergent technologies like home diagnostics and AI-based systems.

Program Goals


Seed Funder




ADN Telehealth Pilot Advisory Committee

Ruma Bhagat

Dr. Ruma Bhagat

Principal Science Leader, Global Health Equity and Population Sciences; Genentech, Inc.

Ruma Bhagat has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working in various roles throughout her career. Ruma completed her bachelor’s degrees in medicine and science from Mumbai University and master’s in public health in international health systems from Tulane University. Ruma is the principal science leader of the Global Health Equity and Population Sciences team leading the strategic partnerships pillar. In her role, Ruma is focused on advancing inclusive research by scientifically driven inclusion of diverse and underrepresented patients in clinical trials. Ruma’s diverse and extensive experience in drug development, her passion for innovation and driving for results will bring significant value to her role at ADN.
Vinona Bhatia

Vinona Bhatia, MD MPH

Founder, Partnering for Cancer Innovation

A medical oncologist and global health professional, Vinona moved from direct patient care to industry in 2013. Throughout her career, she has worked in the developing world on capacity building for healthcare, with a particular focus on breast and cervical cancer. She has either lived, worked or traveled in 70 countries, especially dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa. After a few years at Genentech and Roche, she was at a digital healthcare startup in Paris, followed by a startup in San Francisco working with machine learning experts to analyze clinical data. She is now a Medical Director at a small biotech company.
Vinona is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her internal medicine training at the University of Pennsylvania, and hematology-oncology training at the University of California, San Francisco.
Huwaida Bulhan

Huwaida Bulhan

Senior Clinical Operations & RWD Lead Sub Saharan Africa | Project Lead, Global Health Equity & Population Science (HEPS), Roche-Genentech Inc.

Huwaida Bulhan leads the clinical research operations activities in East and West Africa for Roche/Genentech, supporting advancement of scientific discoveries, and addressing barriers in clinical trial participation via Advancing Inclusive Research initiatives. Prior to Roche, Huwaida worked as a medical doctor for the Ministry of Health in Kenya, before moving to clinical research oversight and management in private industry as well as academia in Europe and North America.

Dr. Josephine Fubara

Chief Science Officer, Sanofi Consumer Healthcare

Josephine is head of R&D for Sanofi Consumer Healtcare where she and her team are responsible for innovation for over a €5billion business. She is an R&D leader with over 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to Sanofi, Josephine was the Global R&D Head of all the OTC categories at Bayer Consumer HealthCare and spent 18+ years in various technical and business roles at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare leading innovation and development in key business categories like Pain, Respiratory and Digestive Health. Josephine has worked with global teams in various parts of the world, including North America, Europe and Asia.

Dr. Josh Ghaim

Founder and Managing Partner, Ignite Venture Studio
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 start-ups. Josh is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Small World Brands, the parent company of Nuria Beauty and Recharge Health brands.

Dr. Christophe E. Jackson

Certified Surgical Physician Assistant & Clinical Design Engineer;
CEO, Gideon MedTech

Dr. Christophe Jackson, PhD, DMA, PA-C, is a New Orleans native having received his doctorates in Biology, Mechanical Engineering and Piano Performance in 2012 and a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2018 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Jackson went on to receive postdoctoral training in Neuroscience and Music at Tulane University. Dr. Jackson works as a neurosurgical physician associate at a busy Level 1 trauma center in brain and spine at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center. Dr. Jackson utilizes his extensive expertise to bridge the gaps between access to healthcare, development of new technologies, and advancing research. He is the CEO of GideonMedTech, a Medical Technology, Design, Engineering & Innovation company based out of New Orleans.

Deepa Maharaj

Dr. Deepa Maharaj

Africa Science 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 pharmaceutical industry experience mainly with health and wellness products working for a number of multinational companies. Most of her tenure has been spent in 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 African COVID task forces to deliver this vision.

Ndeye Makalou

Senior Director - Product Strategy Leader, Global Supply Chain,

Ndeye Makalou is a highly motivated, courageous global transformational leader with 20+years’ experience in the biopharma industry, with expertise in project management, quality control, clinical and commercial operations in developed and emerging markets. Makalou uses her expertise in effectively leading complex programs from late-stage discovery to commercialization and my skills in building and managing effective multidisciplinary teams.

ADN Pilot Lead

Hatim Chraibi

Hatim Chraibi

Executive-in-Residence, African Diaspora Network

Hatim Chraibi manages external partnership and collaboration to develop and execute the Telehealth Pilot Project in his position as an Executive in Residence. Hatim has more than 20 years of experience in the medical device industry in upstream and downstream capacities globally. Hatim received a bachelor degree in finance from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from McGill University. He also participated in an exchange program at the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Before co-founding SPIRE Advisory Group, Hatim has had tenures at Philips Medical Systems, Covidien and other medical device companies.