Each year on May 25, Africans around the globe celebrate Africa Day to reflect on progress made on the continent. It is a time to take stock of the transformative power of young entrepreneurship and how it is changing the face of healthcare delivery and supporting healthcare workers across Africa. As we mark the end of the first-ever Africa Young Innovators for Health Award programme, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the journeys of our six Awardees: Conrad Tankou, CEO of GICMED; John Mwangi, CEO of Daktari Online; Imodoye Abioro CEO of Mediverse; Angella Kyomugisha, Co-Founder of Kaaro Health; Nuriat Nambogo, Founder of MobiCare; and Marie Chantal Umunyana, Founder of Umubyeyi Elevate.
From advancing clinical trials, expanding teams and resources, improving innovations, refining plans to enter new markets and piloting environmentally-safe clinics, the young, innovative entrepreneurs are thriving and advancing their healthcare solutions with the support of the Award programme’s financial and in-kind support.
Their success on this programme has been transformational. Global Innovation and Creativity Space (GIC Space) has officially put forward clinical trials to show the potential impact of its GICMED proprietary technology on screening, testing, and treating cervical and breast cancer in rural and peri-urban settings. Led by Conrad Tankou, the first prize winner of the Award, GICMED is a telemedicine platform, a smartphone digital microscopy system, a smart speculum device, a simple fine needle aspirate biopsy device, and an intuitive e-learning and training platform. By showing the technology’s impact in an evidence-based manner, he believes this will demonstrate GICMED’s effectiveness and use in more health facilities as he seeks to reach more women living in the most remote settings.
Second prize winner, John Mwangi, has upgraded Daktari Online’s content, user interface, and experience to cater to the growing number of health workers using the platform for continuous medical education and re-licensure. Daktari Online is accredited by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) to provide medical education to over 15,000 professionals ranging from general practitioners, clinical officers, and other primary healthcare professionals in Kenya. He continues to develop his offering and seeks to enter new markets with Daktari Online.
Mediverse, an AI-powered electronic medical records system, has finished testing and improving its word error rate of transcription and is preparing to onboard more than 200 health facilities in Africa. Led by Imodoye Abioro, the innovation allows health workers to input and retrieve patient records with their voices, working with or without internet access on any device. Imodoye has scaled up operations in his home country, Nigeria, with two offices in Lagos and Abuja, coupled with growth marketing efforts on the back of his renewed go-to-market strategy devised through his business mentorship.
Angella Kyomugisha developed and piloted an environmentally friendly version of Kaaro Health’s telehealth-enabled clinics in time for roll-out to some of Uganda’s island communities. This Women Innovators Incubator participant leads the team at Kaaro Health, a social enterprise deploying telehealth-enabled container clinics staffed by a nurse and a lab technician from the local communities in villages with no clinic within a 25-kilometre radius. As a result, the Kaaro Health team provides improved access to primary health care services, especially in rural communities, thus reducing the time and cost burdens of seeking care.
Mobicare, led by Nuriat Nambogo, connects doctors and patients through its mobile-based online platform, bridging the gap between patients and medical professionals through appointment scheduling. The application also helps doctors manage their daily schedules at different health facilities with patient appointments and plan for future reviews. Her team finalized a pilot study to test the viability and implementation of the mobile application. The findings have helped develop an improved version of MobiCare that can be deployed and marketed countrywide.
Marie-Chantal Umunyana finalized her web platform and educational content on parenting, early childhood development, and mental health in Rwanda. This content focuses on supporting soon-to-be mothers and parents along their journeys, right from preparation and pregnancy to parenting. Additionally, Umubyeyi Elevate launched the “Be Space”, a safe space where women can meet and safely share their thoughts, experiences, and motivation and receive advice and empowerment directly from experts and one another.
With a mission to support pioneering young health entrepreneurs across Africa to bring their innovations to life, the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award will continue to shine a spotlight on Africa’s dynamic healthcare innovation ecosystem and celebrate the power of youth-led African innovation.
Stay tuned for the next edition coming in May 2023.