The roots of Iyeza Health date back to 2013, when Iyeza Express – a bicycle courier company that delivered chronic medication from health clinics in Khayelitsha to patients’ homes’ – was founded by Sizwe Nzima. Back then the business had just one customer – his grandmother. Iyeza means both “it is coming” and also “medicine” – a fitting name for a company committed to delivering essential, life-saving drugs.
Iyeza Express then evolved into Iyeza Health, a specialist health logistics company that delivers chronic medicine to over 1000 people in the Khayelitsha area. The business has recently diversified and now also serves the private sector, having secured contracts with medical aid companies, which enables them to further link their logistics services with doctors, clinics and hospitals, as well as patients.
Co-owner of Iyeza Health, Siraaj Adams, says that through supporting health systems currently in existence, the aim is to continually strengthen and enhance health programme sustainability in local communities. “The business seeks to ensure seamless integration across the health services system in terms of drug prescription, review, dispensing, provision and delivery, including a fully-tracked health logistics service that allows people to monitor the door-to-door delivery of medicine.”
Over time, Nzima and Adams have diversified their business model to include digital healthcare software and medical devices. “We wanted to expand our service offering to assist people with diagnostic self-testing at home and, in doing so, to provide a convenient channel for proactive and preventative screening and care.”
In order to do this, the entrepreneurs developed a web-based platform which enables customers to order HIV self-testing kits online. “Through this system, we are able to offer accessible alternatives to the current status quo in the pharmacy distribution and supply chain. There is also a medical aid claim functionality built into the platform and we are able to distribute nationally within two working days.
Iyeza Health’s web-based platform is now the leading e-commerce platform for HIV self-testing in South Africa, with over 3000 kits being distributed per month. In addition to this, through their Digital Development Unit, the company has rolled out several platforms for the National Department of Health.
Nzima and Adams remain committed to changing the face of public health in South Africa. “We intend to continue to develop useful clinical mobile applications to improve health management in poor communities and also aim to improve access to self-testing diagnostics devices that encourage screening and early detection of disease in community health settings.”
This driven entrepreneurial duo are finalists in the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS. For more information on their business, please visit the Iyeza Health website: https://www.iyezahealth.co.za/.