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Improving Africa’s access to solar lighting and quality healthcare by Cairo to Cape Town Tour, Philips announces

Royal Philips Electronics announces that the Cairo to Cape Town Tour is to raise awareness for the opportunities of new solar-powered LED lighting and best in class medical solutions to improve the quality of healthcare in Africa, as Philips will travel across Africa from late May to July 20, 2010.30-5-2010-4

Since it goes dark all year round at about 6.30-7.00 pm in Africa, which holds it back socially and economically, Around 560 million Africans have no effective lighting at night and the demand for effective healthcare solutions that increase access to healthcare in Africa is growing rapidly. Philips believes that providing a sustainable solar lighting will strengthen Africa’s aspics of life in a life-changing way. The advantage Solar lighting has is that it doesn’t require electricity and thus saves energy and costs.

During this Tour Philips will meet with relevant stakeholders in 15 countries to present and discuss its simple and effective lighting and healthcare solutions. Gottfried Dutiné, Executive Vice-President and Global Head of Markets & Innovation said “As the leading company in health and well-being, Philips plans to serve Africa’s growth potential in terms of partnerships for innovation, solution supply and knowledge sharing, bringing meaningful lighting and healthcare solutions to the African people”

Philips has developed different solar lighting solutions to help Africans extend the day, including a small LED reading light; these lights are affordable and offer the potential for a major boost in literacy across the continent. Nowadays, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 11% of the world’s population, yet bears 24% of the global disease burden and commands less than 1% of global health expenditures. The average life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa has remained at roughly 50 years since 2002. The improvements which Philips has pointed out are: the quality of hospitals and medical staff increased significantly in the last years and many healthcare projects have accelerated the transformation to modern and well-structured healthcare systems in Africa. JJ van Dongen, General Manager, Philips Healthcare Africa says, “At Philips, we applaud the fact that governments, public and private hospital sectors increasingly dedicate energy towards making healthcare more accessible and affordable,” adding  “Demand for new healthcare solutions is growing fast. Our mission is to improve the quality of healthcare in Africa through access to education, sharing of best practices and improved collaboration between public and private stakeholders”.

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