A Platform For Preventing Pregnancy And Childbirth Complications In Sub-Saharan Africa

About 4 years in the past, one in every of Tafadzwa Munzwa’s cousins turned pregnant. In the end, she and her child have been okay, however Munzwa was alarmed by the poor high quality of the care she obtained.

That have was Munzwa’s first actual have a look at the problem ladies confronted getting top-quality maternal well being care in Zambia, the place they lived, and different international locations in Sub-Saharan Africa. So, round two years in the past, he co-founded DawaHealth to develop a screening, profiling and administration maternal healthcare device to deal with the excessive variety of being pregnant and childbirth-related problems resulting in maternal deaths within the area. “We’re democratizing entry to maternal well being care,” he says.

“We’re democratizing entry to maternal well being care,” he says.

Preventable Problems

Munzwa’s imaginative and prescient for the corporate rested on just a few points. One was the excessive variety of deaths from preventable being pregnant and childbirth-related problems in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia—two-thirds of complete world deaths. The opposite: The appreciable variety of healthcare staff in Sub-Saharan Africa who aren’t employed, due to funds constraints; these healthcare staff who’re employed are so overworked, they’re unable to supply high-quality care. On the identical time, most middle-and-low-income households, struggling to make ends meet, can’t afford medical insurance.

His reply was to construct a platform that, principally, creates distant clinics in communities by tapping that military of unemployed and underemployed first-level clinicians within the area, permitting them to supply help to sufferers the place they stay.

Particularly, a community of in-the-field healthcare staff obtain kits with cellular instruments to take with them throughout twice month-to-month visits. With these units, they assess their sufferers’ situation after which add the data into the platform to be evaluated by a central medical group. Excessive-risk sufferers are referred to the closest well being outposts.

Medical kits embrace such units as blood strain and hemoglobin screens and latex gloves, to call just a few examples. The corporate additionally offers instruments for screening infants for congenital or prenatal infections, plus transportable ultrasound scans and tablets. Earlier than starting their work with sufferers, healthcare brokers obtain coaching on their cellular units.

As well as, pregnant ladies and nursing moms get entry through cellular units to weekly well being help in a language of their selection to assist them identification doubtlessly pressing well being circumstances in between visits. (It’s additionally out there through an internet portal and textual content/audio chatbot).

Moms pay a small price—4 occasions cheaper than non-public healthcare, in accordance with Munzwa—and clinicians pay a month-to-month subscription for the medical kits.

Twin Perform

Within the course of, the platform, referred to as DawaMom, performs a twin perform: offering pressing, inexpensive healthcare to ladies and making a supply of revenue for unemployed clinicians. Healthcare brokers receives a commission for the ladies they consult with the platform, in addition to for affected person assessments and examinations. Moms obtain a reduction once they refer another person to this system. And, in accordance with the corporate, well being providers are 50% cheaper than these supplied by common services.

Thus far, the corporate has helped about 4,000 moms by way of a pilot, in accordance with Munzwa. For the subsequent 5 years, he plans to concentrate on increasing the corporate’s maternal care footprint to different areas. By 2027, the objective is to succeed in about 40% of pregnant ladies and nursing moms in Southern Africa. Finally he needs to increase to different circumstances, like sickle cell anemia.

DawaHealth was just lately chosen as one in every of MIT Clear up’s 40 2022 Solver Groups, profitable $10,000, plus enrollment in a nine-month mentorship program. Because of the visibility and help of that award, the corporate additionally was one in every of 5 groups just lately chosen for the The Well being Entry Prize supported by Johnson & Johnson Affect Ventures, a fund inside the Johnson & Johnson Basis. The winners have been awarded $175,000 in complete.

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