Cape Town, November 16, 2018 – Multinational pharmaceutical company, Sanofi launched a technology innovation challenge for tech startups to design a cost-effective, multi-device and multi-channel solution to assist patients in optimising their TB treatment as well as to incentivise completion of treatments. The winner of the challenge Iyeza Health, was announced today at AfricArena, a technology conference held at Century City, Cape Town. The conference presents opportunities to explore tomorrow’s trends while unleashing some of the continent’s best start ups and innovators.

One of the greatest challenges in the fight against TB mortality is adherence to TB treatment and completion of the course.

“At Sanofi, we have focused our efforts on ensuring that patient care and adherence to treatment are at the forefront of the fight against TB. We want to work with Africa’s best technology innovators to ensure that patients have more access to their treatment so that they can complete their TB treatment journey and enjoy full recovery,” says Thibault Crosnier Leconte, Country Chair and RX GM, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. 

After a rigorous selection process by executives at Sanofi, three finalists were selected from the challenge. The finalists were Technovera, Aquity Innovations and Iyeza Health. The tech startups pitched their innovations in front of a panel of top Sanofi executives and key external stakeholders at the 2-day tech conference held at Century City Conference Centre from the 15th to the 16th of November.

The winning startup, Iyeza Health was founded by Sizwe Nzima when he was just 21. The idea came to him as he was collecting medication for his grandparents at a local clinic one day. From just one customer in 2013, Iyeza Health now delivers much-needed medication to over 1000 people in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. This innovation project addresses patient compliance with chronic medication in highly congested clinics which are often found in low-income communities. Currently, up to 25% of patients are missing their medication collection day because of the inconvenience attached to collect their medication.

“We are very excited to have been a part of this challenge. Our innovation has always been geared towards making a real impact in the fight against Tuberculosis. We look forward to a constructive partnership with Sanofi to ensure that our innovation becomes more accessible across the continent,” said Sizwe Nzima of Iyeza Health.

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