BabyMama: Using ICT to Improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival in Uganda

Opportunity Area

How might we improve data systems for healthcare delivery?

Collins Mugabi and Albert Emurwon at a recent exhibition

The proposed title of your idea

BabyMama: Using ICT to improve maternal, newborn and child survival in Uganda

Please describe your idea.

BabyMama is a mobile solution that provides realtime follow-up and information to expectant mothers and those with newborns.

What problem does your idea solve in the market?

There are 1,600,000 pregnancies in Uganda every year, many of these pregnant women face the probability of living or dying while giving a life. Uganda’s maternal mortality is currently at 320 deaths per 100,000 live births (World Health Statistics report 2015). Very few women (47%) attend the recommended 4 ANC visits & deliver in healthcenters or by a skilled birth attendant. BabyMama provides a better follow-up mechanism, providing real-time reporting and SMS reminders. The system tracks the details and progress of a woman right from the time she presents for first ANC until after delivery.

Briefly explain how you identified the need or opportunity

During my work with Community and Healthcare Institutions, I was exposed to realities rural women in remote areas go through to produce a child. They walk for long distances in search of affordable healthcare service. Incase of emergencies, expectant mothers are transported on bodabodas or carried on shoulders. Very few attend ANC and deliver at home with no trained birth attendant. Many only go to hospitals for delivery only when there is a complication. At times, it is late, leading to loss of lives or lifelong complications. Health facilities lack clear means to followup women in communities during pregancy and after delivery. They only relied on ineffective VHT system.

Who are the beneficiaries of your solution and how will they benefit?

Our main beneficiaries will be expectant mothers living in rural communities who live on less than a dollar per day. They lack knowledge and information about maternal and child healthcare services, have limited access to available healthcare. Our second beneficiary will be healthcare facilities and mostly private ones who lack a mechanisms to track and follow-up their clients who present for maternal and child health services. They need to provide reminders about next ANC date, among others.

Why are you convinced your solution will solve the problem?

Among reasons why women dont attend all recommended 4 ANC services include lack of information and poor follow-up. Because of poor accessibility in rural areas, follow-up on these women becomes a challange. However, nearly every household in Uganda today owns a mobile phone with most GPS enabled. A system track, provide reminders about next appointment, remind a women next ANC Date, possible days of delivery and next immunization day can help reduce martanal mortality and mobidity in Uganda.

What other initiatives like yours exist out there? How will you differentiate your solution?

Matibabu is a mobile app that is able to detect malaria causing parasites, one of Africa’s biggest killers. It eliminates the need to prick a patient and draw blood for the test. WinSenga is another low-cost mobile phone-based antenatal diagnosis kit that captures foetal heartbeat sounds. Diagnoses are then transmitted to the mother via SMS. These and anumber of others are focusing on diagnizing and treatment. Our solution goes to the foundation providing a mechanism to be able to track, follow-up and use such information for planning purposes so as to increase access to Maternal and Child Health services by people living in rural and remote communities of Uganda.

What have you done up-to date to test your idea with potential users? What learnings do you have to share?

We are currently engaging the ministry of health to take-on this project. But meanwhile we are in final phases of our product development

How will you financially sustain your business?

We shall create a subscription based business model where by health facilities will be required to pay a certain amount of money per month based on the number of clients under their program. We shall also lobby and approach civil society organizations in the area of reproductive health to provide some support to this project. We are currently lobbying the ministry of health to adopt this project as a follow-up mechanisms for all public health institutions.

Please share a link to a 3 minute online video that best describes your idea and team

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X9uS3o5vv0

Please tell us about each founder and their roles on the team. How do you know your founders and how long have you worked together? 

1. Mugabi Collins J: He holds a Bachelors Degree in Information Systems and a Diploma in Computer Science. He has over 3 years experience in working healthcare based institutions and 2 years experience in designing and implenting ICT based projects. 2. Dr. Micheal Mazzi: He holds a Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery and Masters in Public Health. He has 5 years experience in Community and public Healthcare provision. He is very knowledgeable in Healthcare Planning, Maternal and Child Health. 3. Emurwon Albert: He holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. He is a software developer with great skills and knowledge in mobile applications and web-based systems. 4. Agumenaitwe Simon: He holds a Bachelors Degree in Information Technology. He has vast knowledge and experience in ICT technologies, communications and documentation

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