In some parts of the African continent, it is still hard to access healthcare either because of the lack of healthcare personnel or their distance to health centers. Some tech entrepreneurs are trying to fix that. 

Clafiya is an e-health platform that allows access to affordable healthcare in Nigeria. It connects patients in rural and peri-urban areas to community health workers. 

The platform was developed by eponymous healthtech startup Clafiya founded in 2020 by  Itoro Inoyo and Jennie Nwokoye. Its goal is to allow everyone to access healthcare. As its co-founder Itoro Inoyo explains, health is a fundamental human right so, no one should be left out no matter their race, gender, or socioeconomic status. 

As internet connection is not always available in the areas targetted by Clafiya founders, the platform is accessible via a USSD code (*347*58 #). Users can then dial the code, register by providing a set of information, and book primary care anytime they want.

The healthcare packages offered by Clafiya cost between US$4.9 and 12. Each of the packages allows access to different primary care and services including blood pressure and blood sugar level screening, primary care consultation, rapid malaria, and typhoid diagnostics. If the case is serious, the patient is referred to a medical specialist, either online or offline.

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In 2020, the Orange Group accelerated initiatives to become a multiservice operator in Africa. In that regard, it made strategic investments, which are gradually contributing to the expansion of its service offerings. 

Telecom operator Orange Côte d’Ivoire launched, Monday (June 13), its e-health platform. Baptized Orange santé, the platform was launched in partnership with DabaDoc, a Moroccan heathtech backed by Orange Group in June 2021.  

Currently, with Orange Santé, users can only book medical consultations. However, additional services will be added by 2023, allowing the diaspora to pay for e-consultations or users to carry out medical consultations online. 

Orange Santé is specially dedicated to Ivorian health centers and professionals. It allows them to list their services, digitize their management, and create digital health records. It also offers health professionals more visibility and helps optimize their schedules. 

The launch of Orange Santé is part of Orange Group’s strategy to become a reference operator and a key actor in the e-health segment in the Middle East and Africa. With the service, DabaDoc -which has been operating in the Maghreb for about eight years now- helps Orange address the doctor shortage ongoing in Africa and sustainably impact rural areas. 

By 2023, Orange Group plans to launch Orange Santé in other Sub-Saharan African countries in addition to Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Côte d’Ivoire, where the service is already operational. 

Muriel Edjo

Published in Tech

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of having alternative solutions in key sectors of the economy. In Senegal, Njureel is helping improve access to healthcare.  

Njureel is a Senegalese healthtech startup that allows remote access to healthcare via its eponymous digital platform. It was founded in 2019 after its founder, Awa Ndiaye lost one of her relatives to a lack of proper healthcare. 

Currently, the platform has no mobile app but users can easily register on its website using mainstream browsers and book teleconsultation with doctors. The consultations are held via Whastapp videocalls. The startup also offers psychological Tele counseling to violated women and legal guidance if necessary. 

To educate women on sexual and reproductive health, Njureel developed a program called Sama Bajene. In the framework of the program, the startup claims to have trained more than 60 community health workers, carried out over 500 medical consultations, and impacted more than 800 women. 

Since its launch in 2019, the healthtech has received numerous recognitions and awards. They include the Hack the Goals Senegal Award, the 2020 President of the Republic’s Grand Prize for digital innovation, the Innovation for mothers at risk in Senegal 2020 award, and the third prize for the Jigeen Ci-Tic competition. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

She chose to leverage technology to avoid preventable deaths caused by a lack of information. To fulfill her mission she created a universal health identification system dubbed Kea. 

Vena Arielle Ahouansou (photo) is a Beninese doctor and entrepreneur. In 2017, she launched Kea Medicals, a startup providing universal health IDs to users. Via her platform Kea, she interconnects various health institutions allowing efficient healthcare to users no matter the health institution they visit. Indeed, attending physicians can check patients’ health records by imputing the latter’s universal IDs (previously provided by Kea) on the startup’s centralized platform. That way, it contributes to better diagnosis and treatment. 

Arielle graduated from the University of Parakou's Faculty of Medicine (Benin) in 2017. During her medical internship, she witnessed many preventable deaths. The death of a woman named Charlotte was one too many.

"One evening, in Benin, I was on call at a referral hospital when Charlotte, a woman aged about 27, was referred. She delivered twins in a suburban hospital but, sadly she developed postpartum hemorrhage” and needed an urgent blood transfusion, she explains.  The young mother died ten minutes after reaching the referral hospital because doctors had to check her blood type before the transfusion.  

To ensure such preventable losses are averted, Arielle Ahouansou is focused on universal health identification.  She is also active in several social projects. From 2014 to 2015, she served as the regional coordinator for the Health Sanitation and Hygiene Office, an organization that facilitates people's access to water and sanitation. One year earlier, she founded the non-governmental organization REFELD/MEN for women's empowerment and leadership development. 

She is a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme and GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator program fellow. In 2018, she was on Forbes Africa’s list of the 30 under 30 most promising African youths. The following year, she won the Paris Grand Prizes for Innovation. 

Melchior Koba









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By training, she was not destined for the heathtech industry. However, a painful incident convinced her that she had to act to save millions of people in Africa. 

Beninese-born Bola Bardet (photo) is the founder and CEO of insuretech Susu. Based in Côte d’Ivoire and France, Susu allows the African diaspora to buy health insurance plans for their relatives living on the continent. The plans offered by her startup cover the treatment of chronic illnesses, preventive and emergency care, medical evacuations, and certified drug purchases.  

She launched Susu to save others from her painful experience. In 2017, when she was preparing for her MBA in Paris, her father died of poorly managed heart problems. “My father died in 2017 after he had a heart issue in Benin and could not be saved. The health issue was a complication from his hypertension that was poorly managed. At that moment, I was finishing my MBA at HEC Paris and the goal I set for myself was to try to prevent that from happening to other people, maybe that will be something good that I can do in my life,” she explains

She aims to initiate her startup’s African expansion and enhance offers in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Cameroon. For that purpose, in March 2022, she secured US$1 million in pre-seed funding and US$1.2 million in debt and grant financing from BPI France. 

Mrs. Bola is an executive MBA graduate. She also has a Master’s in Management and several professional and social entrepreneurship certificates. Over her fifteen years of professional experience, she sharpened her skills with LCN Communications, luxury goods holding company Richemont, and investment bank JP Morgan Chase & Co. 

In 2019, thanks to Susu, she was the winner of the Sanofi challenge organized during the Viva Tech conference. This year, she is also a finalist of the Female Founder Challenge organized by Viva Tech in collaboration with 50inTech. 

Melchior Koba











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After four years of witnessing the pains of women in a rural area where he was the head doctor, he created a healthtech to facilitate breast and cervical cancer screening. 

Conrad Tankou (photo) is a Cameroonian entrepreneur and founder of heathtech startup Global Innovation and Creativity Space (GIC Space). Through GIC Space (founded in 2018), he developed GICMED, a project aimed at facilitating remote cervical and breast cancer screening.  

GICMED offers cutting edge and cost-effective MedTech and Telemedicine Innovations, enabling poor, remote, and rural communities with the greatest need to enjoy affordable and accessible healthcare,” the startup explains on its website. Indeed, with its services and products, notably breast and cervical cancer screening, smart speculum, fine needle biopsy syringe adapter, and digital pathology center, it allows patients to remotely and quickly get screened wherever they are. It also allows doctors to seek their colleagues’ contributions. 

With GICMED, Conrad wants to help women living in remote areas quickly access cervical and breast cancer screening. His wish is to see the solution deployed in every village in Cameroon and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

For his works, the P.h.D (in biomedical science in 2013) holder has earned several national and international awards and recognitions.  For instance, through GICMED, he won Cameroon's 2019 Startup of the Year award. Then, a year later, he won the Next Einstein Forum Challenge in Kigali. In 2021, GICMED was the winner of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award presented by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Speak Up Africa.

Before GIC Space, Conrad Tankou had co-founded (with his compatriot Alain Nteff) GiftedMom, in 2013, to improve maternal and child health. From 2014 to 2018, he was the head doctor of Bambalang  Medical center, in North-West Cameroon. 

Melchior Koba












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In Africa, ICTs have proven their worth in resolving key issues in almost every sector, including the health sector. By using their tools, Senegalese authorities want to improve healthcare. 

African genomics startup 54Gene and Senegal will soon launch a program aimed at assembling the reference genome of the Senegalese population. In that regard, the startup signed, Tuesday (May 24), a memorandum of understanding with the Senegal Academy of Science and Technology (ANSTS) and Cheikh Anta Diop University’s department of human genetics. 

The program dubbed SEN-GENOME is scheduled to start in July 2022 and initial results are expected for December 2023. Based on results from the genomic study of the country’s main ethnolinguistic groups, it will help lay the foundation of precision medicine, and identify the hereditary risk factors of some diseases like cancer, heart diseases, and hereditary diseases. It will also allow better health surveillance for the Senegalese population. 

For Prof. Aynina Cisse, ANSTS representative during the signing ceremony, SEN-GENOME is launched because researchers noticed that “the reference human genome currently used is not representative of the genetic variety of Africans as a whole and Senegal in particular.”  

In that regard, the program will establish a reference genome reflecting the genetic diversity of the Senegalese population. The reference genome assembled will be used to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of the most common diseases. It will also allow anthropologists to better understand communities’  socio-cultural history.

Modern medicine will rely on every individual's gene pool. SEN-GENOME, which is the first reference genome project in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa, will help initiate a genomic medicine plan in Senegal,” explained Prof. Rokhaya Ndiaye Diallo, head of Cheikh Anta Diop University’s department of human genetics.

"Africa has the most genetically diverse population but, those populations are poorly represented in international genomic databases.  SEN-GENOME will help fill this gap and allow Senegal further precision medicine,” commented Dr. Abasi Ene Obong, 54Gene founder and CEO.   

Muriel Edjo

Published in Tech

In Africa, healthcare access is still limited despite the reforms and projects implemented by governments. To address the situation, private firms, and startups are stepping in. 

Canadian firm UniDoc Health announced Wednesday (May 11), an agreement with  Northern Pacific Global Investment Services Limited to offer telehealth services in Nigeria. 

Under the agreement, UniDoc Health will lease some telehealth equipment and license software to allow Northern Pacific to offer the intended services in the target country. The software to be licensed include UniDoc Health’s proprietary solution VCSM which integrates “a range of physical products, web-based services, and analytical tools, along with access to the Company’s developing network of healthcare providers, pharmacies, and hospitals.” 

UniDoc’s goal is to make health care accessible to everyone. We are excited to work with our Partner to bring our Virtual Care Solutions Model to the people of Nigeria. Our kiosks will help to allow our Partner’s network of health care professionals to reach patients in remote locations throughout the country,” said UniDoc CEO Antonio Baldassare. 

As is the case in several African countries, Nigeria’s medical density is below WHO recommendations.  The UN Agency recommends at least 2.3 medical staff per thousand residents. However, according to data published by the World Bank in 2018, Nigeria’s density is 0.4 doctors per 1,000 residents. The agreement between UniDoc Health and Northern Pacific offers an innovative solution to the problem by allowing the population living in remote areas access to healthcare, through the VCSM. During the five-year leasing period, up to 1 million patient subscribers will be taken care of. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Tech

In Nigeria, only 7 million out of the estimated 200 million population is subscribed to a health insurance policy. Of the 7 million, 98% were enrolled by their employees. A local startup wants to change that situation by leveraging technology. 

In 2019, Nigerian tech entrepreneur Kayode Odeyinde founded NucleusIS, a startup that wants to leverage technology for universal healthcare in Nigeria.  Through its eponymous digital platform, the startup allows individuals and firms to subscribe to health insurance policies. 

It offers users access to hundreds of subscription plans created by dozens of insurance firms. The information to be provided for registration and subscription depends on the user’s insured and employment status as well as location.   

Recently, NucleusIs introduced a plan allowing users to buy health insurance on credit. “NucleusIS will continue to look for ways to use technology and financial initiatives to drive health insurance adoption across the continent. (...) The platform is one of the many initiatives the company will be rolling out to make health insurance truly accessible and affordable to the average person,” indicated its head of Communication Godwin Awuya.

The startup currently claims more than 200,00 health insurance policies sold and 600 corporate clients managed. “We want to provide about 180,000 touchpoints across the country and add over 20 million people to the insurance net annually,” explained Odeyinde in 2021. The startup is already active in Nigeria and Ghana but it plans to enter new African markets in the next three years.  

Adoni Conrad Quenum

Published in Solutions

In Africa, healthcare access remains a major challenge despite the numerous e-health solutions being developed. The issue is mainly caused by financial problems. The low-cost insurance policy being developed by the two partners aims to address that situation. 

Kenyan fintech Power Financial Wellness (PFW) recently announced a partnership with insurtech Turaco. According to a release dated April 26, the partnership aims to offer low-cost insurance -as low as US$2 monthly subscriptions- to African gig and salaried workers.

Power is dedicated to providing a marketplace of financial services to working individuals across Africa. With Turaco, we now have a partner that helps digitize tailor-made insurance offerings. With Power’s ability to finance premiums and collect from workers, this partnership will help scale the delivery of affordable insurance to working individuals in Kenya and beyond,” commented PFW CEO Brian Dempsey.  

PFW clients can subscribe to the insurance policies once Turaco’s API is integrated into the fintech’s digital platforms. PFW offers payment and loan services (insurance services will soon start with the API integration). As for Turaco, it offers low-cost claim settlement packages in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, and the United States of America.  

In addition to health insurance, PFW clients have access to other insurtech products. These include credit life insurance, disability, theft, and a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient insurance. 

Some African countries have a national health insurance scheme but only a small portion of the population is covered. According to the World Health Organization, while 91% of the population in Rwanda is covered by the national health insurance scheme, 33% is covered in Ghana and only 3% in Nigeria

Adoni Conrad Quenum






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