Nigeria’s maternal health startup, HelpMum, is one of 10 startups selected to participate in the 2023 Chat for Impact Health Accelerator led by Turn.io in collaboration with WhatsApp and The Agency Fund. The Chat for Impact Accelerator aims to scale the efforts of health organisations working to provide communities with access to health information and services via WhatsApp.
The startup, which was born with a mission to reduce maternal and infant mortality in Africa, is also one of just three African tech startups selected to participate in the programme, which would offer $25,000 in funding to the 10 participants.
Coupled with the funding, the startups would also receive guidance and mentorship from Open AI, The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), SameSame, Noora Health, Reach Digital Health, Vote.org and White Rice. The aim of this is to support these organisations to amplify their existing healthcare services by leveraging behavioural science, rigorous evaluation, and responsibly designed AI in their digital messaging.
Confirming the news to Technext, the CEO and founder of the startup, Dr. Abiodun Adereni, says the team is thrilled to be one of the selected few to participate in the impactful accelerator. He says it is a recognition of the important strides it has made since launch.
The HelpMum team is thrilled to join the Chat for Impact accelerator program. We take immense pride in our latest innovation, the HelpMum Vaccination Tracker Chatbot, which will be launched as a significant component of this accelerator initiative.Dr Abiodun Adereni, CEO and founder of HelpMum
According to a statement from the co-founder of Turn.io, Pippa Yeats, the company is pleased to assist the startups in growing their influence and reach which are already having an impact on their communities.
“These organisations are already making a meaningful impact within their communities. We’re thrilled to help them expand their efforts and positively influence millions of lives through the Turn.io platform and the Chat for Impact accelerator program. We look forward to working closely with them to amplify their health services.” says Pippa Yeats, Co-Founder of Turn.io.
The maternal and infant mortality social health-tech startup was recently awarded a $250,000 grant by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation to support its deployment of an AI-driven vaccine Intervention Optimiser – ADVISER, in Nigeria. HelpMum is also the first Nigerian startup to receive the grant so far.
HelpMum and other African startups at the Chat for Impact accelerator
Selected from over 375 applicants, the 2023 cohort represents a diverse group of organisations spanning EMEA, LATAM, and APAC regions, working in various areas of health, including mental health, general healthcare access, maternal health, women’s health, immunisation, health education, and more.
HelpMum is the only Nigerian startup and one of three African startups selected for the cohort. The other two African startups are Access Afya (Kenya) and Rocket Health (Uganda). Access Afya delivers a high-quality localised primary healthcare operating system designed specifically to serve the needs of low-income markets.
Rocket Health on the other hand is a leading private digital health company in Uganda that delivers telemedicine and last-mile health services through chat, voice and video calls between patients and doctors.
Aras Jizan, Member at The Agency Fund, expressed their support for the initiative: “We are excited to partner with Turn.io to support the 2023 cohort of the Chat for Impact Accelerator. As they strengthen their impact and grow in scale, we’re looking forward to seeing these teams work to ensure that all people can navigate toward a healthier future.“
The number of applications received—over 375—from health organisations across the globe underscores the growing recognition of secure chat as an important element in scalable health programmes. The culmination of the Chat for Impact Accelerator will involve all ten participating organisations presenting their live chat services at an event planned for the end of the year.
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