Meet the winners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. Here’s how their solutions are supporting, protecting and equipping health workers delivering care to communities and getting us closer to the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Conrad Tankou, a medical doctor passionate about maternal and child health, is the founder and CEO of GIC Space. The company, based in Cameroon, focuses on developing innovative and sustainable tech solutions to provide more accessible and affordable healthcare to women living in disadvantaged communities in Africa. Through its flagship product GICMED, a suite of medical technologies, GIC Space allows for instant screening and diagnosis of breast and cervical cancer with real-time pathology at the point of care for women living in the hardest-to-reach areas. Additionally, GICMED deploys a mobile treatment unit for early-stage cervical cancerous legions. Dr. Tankou has been recognized by the Next Einstein Forum’s Total Startupper program, he was a finalist for the 2021 CISCO Global Problem Solver Challenge, and he was named on the Quartz Africa Innovators’ top 30 list of pioneers.
John Mwangi, a computer scientist, is the co-founder and CEO of Daktari Media Africa, an independent multi-specialty, multi-cadre healthcare content development and dissemination company. Daktari Online, a product of Daktari Media Africa, was born out of Mwangi’s pursuit to bridge the knowledge gap between doctors working in cities and those in the more remote areas of Kenya. Daktari Online functions as an independent medical education platform supporting the learning goals of over 15,000 healthcare providers for appraisal and re-licensure. The platform achieves this by delivering relevant content created by experts in easy-to-access formats. Mwangi’s innovation was one of only five startups in Kenya that won the 2020 Next Innovation with Japan (NINJA) Business Plan Competition in response to COVID-19, organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
JImodoye Abioro, a medical doctor and self-taught IBM Cloud software development, is the co-founder and CEO of Healthbotics. As a result of his passion for improving healthcare delivery in Africa, Dr Abioro and his team created Mediverse. This AIpowered electronic medical records system allows healthcare workers to input and retrieve patient records with their voice, working with or without internet access on any device. Mediverse supports doctors with a virtual digital assistant that captures and records vital clinical documentation, prescription, treatment analysis, and prognosis assessment during the delivery of patient care. Dr Abioro and his team have been included amongst the top 30 innovators by the World Health Organization. Healthbotics emerged as the top innovations at the 2020 ITU AI for Development Challenge, the Africa Cup App Launchpad Cup, and the 2021 Princess Diana Awards for social ventures.
Teniola is CEO of Pharmarun, a groundbreaking on-demand platform in Africa that addresses fragmented medication access by bringing together a vast pharmacy network, offering a wide medication selection at affordable prices. Teniola is a licensed pharmacist working at the intersection of business and healthcare. She has vast Pharmacy experience and has worked at different levels of the industry such as chain pharmacy -Medplus as well as the key regulators in Nigeria, NAFDAC. Prior to founding Pharmarun, she worked as an investment banker with the London-based Healthcare team of Bank of America Merrill Lynch advising healthcare, biotech and pharmaceutical corporations across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region as well as at Goldman Sachs Asset Management division. Teniola has dedicated her efforts to Pharmarun, serving as CEO and driving the mission of making healthcare more accessible and effective.
Dr. Ochora Moses is a Paediatrician working at Mbarara University of Science and Technology. He is a clinician, researcher and lover of cutting-edge medical technologies. Dr. Ochora Moses is Co-founder and CEO of Photokabada Limited, a company dedicated to developing a phototherapy device able to treat at least three babies simultaneously with remote monitoring. This unique device combines advanced technology with unparalleled convenience to provide optimal treatment for multiple babies simultaneously. The device provides a 360-degree irradiation system, making it 40% more efficient than conventional devices. This innovative design maximizes treatment effectiveness while minimizing energy consumption. Moreover, PhotoKabada has solar-charged batteries, ensuring uninterrupted therapy even in remote areas with unreliable power supplies.
Nura Izath received her BSc. Degree in Computer Engineering from Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), She’s currently enrolled into a master’s degree of science in Information Systems under the scholarship of MUST-Pathogen Epidemiological Studies at MUST. Nura is Founder and CEO of Neosave Technologies. which has developed Autothermo, a medical device to combat neonatal mortality caused by hypothermia by helping healthcare workers quickly identify and treat sick newborns, improving survival rates and reducing their workload. Nura also achieved the 2019 prestigious title of: The Woman of Transformational Ideas under the category of innovations, a recognition from the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development of the Republic of Uganda and the United Nations Equality and the Empowerment of Women through the Girl Flourish Initiative for a trans-generational transformational agenda.
Muhammad Abdullahi is a dedicated and passionate young innovator in the field of healthcare. Mohamed is the Founder of Queen Amina Medical Integration, also known as Trash 4 Health Innovation, a social enterprise that transforms plastic waste into essential medications for diseases like diabetes and hypertension for underserved communities. He pioneered the first-of-its-kind social enterprise in Africa, focused on helping low-income communities exchange their plastic waste for vital drugs and healthcare services. This innovative initiative benefits vulnerable women of childbearing age by providing them with child spacing pills and extends support to low-income men by supplying medications for non-communicable diseases such as Diabetes and Hypertension. Muhammad has garnered multiple accolades and fellowships, including a grant award from Weforgood International, in partnership with IHS Nigeria, the Tony Elumelu Foundation and recognition from the Swiss Africa Business Innovation Initiative (SABII) and from the Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) Nigeria Hub in collaboration with WHO.
Angella Kyomugisha, a Ugandan Medical Doctor, is Co-CEO & Chief Financial Officer of Kaaro Health Uganda Limited. Kaaro Health is a social enterprise that aims to increase access to healthcare in Africa’s most remote areas. Kaaro Health deploys telehealth-enabled container clinics staffed by a nurse and a lab technician from the local communities in villages that otherwise have no clinic within a 25-kilometer radius. As a result, more people have access to fundamental health needs, reducing the time and cost burdens of seeking care. Since 2017, Kaaro Health has completed over 120,000 clinic visits and facilitated over 8,000 births via 36 container clinics and an additional 40–50 partner clinics.
Nuriat Nambogo holds a Master’s degree in management sciences, Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies. Nuriat is the CEO of MobiCare and oversees the entire development and implementation of the project. MobiCare is a mobile-based platform that bridges the gap between patients and medical professionals through appointment scheduling. After losing her pregnancy due to failure to consult a doctor in time and the long queues at most health facilities, Nuriat developed an innovation that allows patients to access and consult the doctors they need at the right time in their preferred health facilities. The application also helps doctors manage their daily schedules at the different health facilities where they have patient appointments and plan for future reviews.
Marie Chantal Umunyana is a final year medical student and the founder of Umubyeyi Elevate, a digital health platform that avails information directly from trusted and verified sources to women on maternal and child health and parenting through web, mobile, and social media channels. “Umubyeyi” which is Kinyarwanda for “mother,” provides young mothers, pregnant women, and prospective parents with essential information that enables them to improve both their health and that of their children. Marie Chantal believes that no woman should go through motherhood without the necessary knowledge and social support.