Our monthly SDG Meetups are a collaboration with SDG House and C-Change. For each Meetup, we focus on one Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and invite entrepreneurs, innovators and knowledge partners to share lessons learned from working toward that specific goal.
For the third edition of our SDG Meetup series we explored SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being. Although many more people live healthy lives today than in the past decade, many challenges must still be overcome to achieve SDG 3 by 2030. Among these is universal healthcare: half the world’s population does not have access to essential health services, and 100 million people are still forced into extreme poverty as a result of health expenses.
SDG 3 as a means to reduce poverty
Divya Dimple, Public Affairs Manager at Philips, joined us to share Philips’ knowledge as a pioneer in health science technology. Divya explained that SDG 3 is essential for achieving all 17 SDGs. After all, happy and healthy people can dedicate more time and energy to sustainable development solutions. Unfortunately, the lack of universal health coverage means many are forced into poverty due to expensive treatments and medicine. Solving this problem requires more than new medical products; we cross-sector partnerships working closely together on systemic solutions. Together with civil organisations and NGOs, the private sector can transform entire health systems by bringing financing and innovation, including new medical technology.
Collaborating to transform health systems
Saskia Verbunt, Senior Consultant Sustainability at Philips, and Marianne Hangelbroek, Amref’s Partnerships Manager, shared insights from their collaboration to create lasting health change in Africa. Their partnership combines the two organisations’ strengths and resources: Amref – active on the African continent since 1957 – brings the necessary connections and local knowledge of communities. And Philips provides the knowledge and tech to develop scalable solutions. For their pilot project, they aim to improve healthcare access for over 20,000 people in Kenya’s Makeuni region. In collaboration with local governments and organisations, they are equipping and improving clinics with Philips’ innovations, and using Amref’s experience to train health workers. Their goal is to create a financially sustainable solution that runs independently. After the pilot’s completion, Philips and Amref hope to implement it in other countries.
Improving orthopaedic care through tech innovation
Worldwide, 30 million people are in need of orthopaedic care but have little or no access to it. With her impact enterprise LegBank, Merel Rumping increases access to prosthetic care in rural regions in Colombia. One of the most pressing challenges in orthopaedic care is delivering well-fitting prostheses, as the shape of a stump changes over time. That’s why LegBank’s smart technology is such a game-changer: in just five minutes, it creates tailor-made prosthetic sockets that are more comfortable, with less need for future modifications. LegBank’s research showed that many orthopaedic clinics in Colombia struggle to meet the government’s strict regulations, running the risk of losing their licence. So they developed a franchise model of services to deliver prosthetic care in rural regions, which removes barriers to setting up new clinics that comply with these regulations. Plus, their new mobile app helps clinics stay on top of administrative work, further reducing the risk of forced closure.
Inspiring new insights and ideas to achieve SDG 3
After the thought-provoking insights shared by Philips, Amref and LegBank, the audience broke out into groups to work on their own SDG 3 solutions and ideas. One group explored how to tackle the growing problem of burnouts, touching on the stigma surrounding the topic and exploring how they could encourage dialogue through an awareness campaign. Other groups focused on how to avoid conflicts of interest between the pursuit of profit and access to affordable healthcare.