From Konga to mPharma, logistics for health products is rising in Africa


“Folks characterize treatment on Jumia?”

That changed into once the response from basically the most ardent online client I do know. She buys trainers, mom jeans and hair products nevertheless doesn’t perceive why someone would remove treatment online. It appropriate doesn’t feel appropriate for her to make a choice ingestible medicines on the identical web declare online she retailers for lingerie.

However a search below Jumia’s ‘medicines & treatments’ tab finds syrups, nasal sprays, and wretchedness relief capsules. At the bottom of their healthcare page, a blurb assures guests that products listed on the web site online are from “a quantity of trusted producers that will meet your health needs.” 

Indeed, African e-commerce marketplaces are venturing into the provision of health care products as section of a technique to develop their rate to clients. 

These platforms are section of a broader crop of innovators at an enticing intersection of healthcare and logistics on the continent. Going by most fresh info, this sub-sector has grown over two years. 

A minimum of 61 corporations are the utilization of tech for health distribution all over sub-saharan Africa, a development of over 100% within the possibility of packed with life gamers (28) captured in 2018. That’s in accordance to a document by Salient Advisory, an Africa-centered healthcare consultancy.

These health logistics corporations embrace e-commerce gamers admire Jumia, Copia and Konga, and also core health startups admire mPharma, Lifestores Pharmacy, Chekkit and Sproxil. Salient’s document makes a speciality of corporations turning in over-the-counter products, hence it would not embrace LifeBank which specializes in blood and oxygen products.

All these corporations are in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya with easiest 6 seen within the francophone declare. 31% of the corporations surveyed were based all around the final two years and 62% operate in a single African nation. 

Snapshot of innovators within the health products distribution set in Africa. Provide: Salient Advisory.

Salient categorizes the landscape of corporations into three groups by the form of carrier they declare: client-facing corporations, producer-facing corporations and product info corporations.

The basic neighborhood of corporations (admire declare over-the-counter and prescription treatment as smartly as digital affected person care to folks. Provider-facing ones succor healthcare companies either by turning in to them, web web hosting a web based marketplace, offering stock management tools (an example right here is Lifestores Pharmacy) and/or offering financing. 

The third neighborhood gives info associated services and products admire product analytics and drug authenticity verification. An example in this class is Chekkit, a verification abilities startup that changed into once currently authorized into Google for Startups accelerator programme for 2021.

Broken-down e-commerce platforms admire Jumia, Copia and Konga are ready to play within the patron and provider-facing buckets. Thanks to their presence in extra than one African international locations, all three corporations surpass the combined attain of alternative command-to-client startups within the health product distribution set.   

“What they are doing can speed access to medicines and hold a whimsical affect on public health,” says Yomi Kazeem, one of many authors of Salient Advisory’s document.

In accordance to Konga’s co-CEO Nick Imudia, the e-commerce company’s idea to declare health products started rapidly after they were received by the Zinox Community three years ago.

“We started constructing warehouses and logistics sources to allow us to realize every local authorities set within the nation,” Imudia says to TechCabal. is a marketplace the set pharmaceutical corporations can checklist health products admire medicines. Konga delivers orders from those pharmacies to particular person patrons. 

However previous fulfilling orders to folks, Konga plans to head bigger by working on bulk orders between pharmacies and companies or authorities companies, Imudia says. That will perhaps perhaps require some investments on infrastructure for frigid distribution and making sure warehouses are of the staunch temperature. 

Salient Advisory’s document notes that “optimistic and harmonised guidelines” might possibly boost this entry of e-commerce gamers into the health products distribution set.  

Konga has two  licenses to right away distribute products for drug producers and import treatment from the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria,  Imudia says. However he clarifies that Konga is rarely any longer going to act as a pharmacy by promoting treatment on to patrons – nevertheless will rely on its marketplace platform that enables merchants to sell on

How mountainous can this recent commerce line be for Konga? Imudia declines to half what health products logistics for the time being contributes to Konga’s overall commerce. However he believes it might perhaps possibly perhaps possibly be “a vital section” of Konga’s commerce within the long scramble.

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