Philips Foundation Sets Ambitious Goals to Enhance Maternal Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa

A clinician carries out an ultrasound exam

(IN BRIEF) The Philips Foundation has made significant strides in improving maternal healthcare access in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacting 15 million people in 2022 alone. Through collaborations with strategic partners, they have focused on enhancing access to obstetric ultrasound services, promoting health awareness and early detection with award-winning referral cards, and improving service readiness for maternity care. The foundation plans to further expand collaborations with social entrepreneurs in the region to ensure sustainable impact and quality healthcare delivery.

(PRESS RELEASE) AMSTERDAM/ NAIROBI, 31-Oct-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Koninklijke Philips N.V. (AMS: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, announces that the Philips Foundation, dedicated to providing quality healthcare access to 100 million people annually by 2030, reports significant achievements in maternal healthcare access across Sub-Saharan Africa. Through five distinct projects spanning five years, the foundation has improved maternal care access for 15 million people in 2022 alone [1]. In a recent partner meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the foundation unveiled plans to expand collaborations with social entrepreneurs in the region.

Margot Cooijmans, Director of the Philips Foundation, expressed, “From building health awareness to providing high-quality healthcare, Philips Foundation’s journey with its strategic partners in maternal health for Sub-Saharan Africa is having a significant impact. Each part of our programs has been designed with thought and care, offering healthcare workers and patients a livelihood by bringing essential services to their communities. By combining our efforts with innovative social enterprises, we can provide continuity of quality healthcare, leverage local innovations and ensure even more long-term, sustainable impact.”

The foundation’s increased emphasis on partnering with social entrepreneurs builds on the success of the initiative launched in 2021. Collaborations with organizations like Access Afya, GOAL 3, Ilara Health, and Penda Health are all rooted in the African healthcare system, delivering maternal and child healthcare services through locally-enabled innovation.

Key Philips Foundation programs improving maternal healthcare access in Sub-Saharan Africa include:

  1. Enhancing access to obstetric ultrasound services: In Kenya, Philips Foundation partnered with Aga Khan University to train midwives, equip health centers, and enhance communication, leading to improved antenatal experiences and early detection of at-risk pregnancies. In Uganda, the foundation supported Imaging the World Africa in training over 250 healthcare professionals, aiding in the identification of life-threatening complications.
  2. Award-winning tool for health awareness and early detection: To promote behavior shifts related to pregnancy risks in underserved communities, Philips Foundation, alongside Philips Design and the ICRC, developed easy-to-understand referral cards for high-risk pregnancies. These award-winning referral cards [3] have proven highly effective in encouraging healthcare-seeking behavior among high-risk women, particularly in areas characterized by low literacy rates, resulting in increased utilization of healthcare services.
  3. Enhancing service readiness for maternity care: Partnering with the Kenya Ministry of Health to improve medical equipment availability and functionality, Philips Foundation collaborated with UNICEF to introduce a digital tool for supervising and maintaining medical equipment in 100 healthcare facilities. This project simplifies equipment management, enabling facility managers to track equipment status efficiently, plan maintenance, and optimize resource allocation, ensuring uninterrupted maternity care provision.

More information on these programs can be found in this backgrounder.

[1] This impact metric does not include direct impact through the provided health solutions but includes the number of people that have gained access to those services, when needed, reached through collaborations with the mentioned partners. The access to care metric is documented and defined per project as a tangible improvement of access to healthcare services relevant to those who are counted.
[2] WHO (2023). Maternal mortality
[3] The design for the high-risk pregnancy cards has won as many as 10 awards spread across the US, UK, and Germany, including awards at Fast Company (2x) and DMI Design Value Awards. Just recently, it won the Grand Prix and Gold Award at the DBA Design for Effectiveness Awards 2023.

About Philips Foundation

Philips Foundation is a registered non-profit organization established in 2014 – with a mission to provide access to quality healthcare for underserved communities across the globe. By leveraging Philips’ capabilities and combining them with the experience and expertise of non-governmental organizations and other community-focused and impact-driven enterprises, Philips Foundation helps create innovative pathways to open up affordable healthcare for communities most in need. By also partnering with innovative social entrepreneurs rooted in the local ecosystem, Philips Foundation aims to increase access to healthcare for 100 million people a year by 2030. More information can be found at

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being through meaningful innovation. Philips’ patient- and people-centric innovation leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver personal health solutions for consumers and professional health solutions for healthcare providers and their patients in the hospital and the home. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, image-guided therapy, monitoring and enterprise informatics, as well as in personal health. Philips generated 2022 sales of EUR 17.8 billion and employs approximately 70,700 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

Media contacts:

Yannick Eshuijs
Philips Foundation
Tel: +31 6 18 52 66 33

SOURCE: Koninklijke Philips N.V.


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