Product Commercialization
Neglected Tropical Diseases or (NTD)
Diagnostics
Go-to-market Strategy
Market Sizing

Addressing the Challenges of Schistosomiasis Diagnosis

Olawale Ajose
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Addressing the Challenges of Schistosomiasis Diagnosis

Olawale Ajose

Olawale is a product introduction and business development specialist in the healthcare sector. He leads the Global Health Practice at Market Access Africa.

Our go-to-market strategy developed FIND’s analysis into a diagnostic delivery blueprint that has the potential to eliminate Schistosomiasis

FIND is an alliance that seeks to ensure equitable access to reliable healthcare diagnostics around the world. This product development partnership aims to accelerate diagnostic innovation and make testing an integral part of sustainable, resilient health systems. Their goal is to save 1 million lives and reduce healthcare costs to patients and health systems by US$1 billion. One of FIND’s key focus areas is neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) - a diverse group of diseases that includes schistosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis. These diseases disproportionately affect the poorest and most marginalized communities around the world. 

The Problem 

Schistosomiasis, one of the most ferocious NTDs, is a parasite that disrupts the quality of life in poor rural areas, and underprivileged urban communities who face limited access to clean water and sanitation. Africa has the largest burden of schistosomiasis with 207 million cases -  accounting for 93% of prevalence globally. The countries most impacted by this disease are Nigeria, Tanzania,  Ghana, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Children have the highest risk of infection, and account for more than half of the cases, as they are more likely to participate in activities such as fishing, rice farming, and swimming that expose them to the parasite. FIND identified a need for schistosomiasis diagnostics across 30 countries as a key objective towards its goal.

The Solution 

FIND commissioned us to develop a comprehensive market and policy report, including a go-to-market strategy that would make recommendations based on an overview of diagnostic products and suppliers in the market and pipeline. We provided a detailed tactical plan that outlined the steps to introduce diagnostics in endemic countries. Our technical advice covered regulation, funding, policy and relevant guidelines to inform successful market entry. Leveraging our relationships with in-country experts, together with data collection and analysis, we provided strategic opportunities to scale the preferred entry option in the long run, and suggested partnerships to ensure success. 

The Outcome 

In order to reduce the prevalence of schistosomiasis and its burden on Africa’s population and economy, innovative solutions need to be applied to the current challenge of diagnosing the disease.  The elimination of schistosomiases on the African continent will be made possible by the breaking down barriers such as availability and affordability of rapid tests. Our findings and recommendations support global and national health stakeholders to build more sustainable markets for schistosomiasis diagnostics, ensuring that these tools are appropriate for use in low- and middle-income countries.

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