Nigeria’s Mobihealth International has secured $1m grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency through African Investment Forum of the African Development Bank to carry out feasibility studies in line with future expansion across other African countries such as Ghana, Egypt, Cote D’Ivoire and Kenya.
Speaking at the ceremonial grant signing ceremony hosted by the US Embassy on Monday, USTDA’s Director, Enoh T. Ebong said, “USTDA’s assistance will support the deployment of innovative ICT solutions in the healthcare space across the continent, particularly in rural areas which traditionally do not have expansive healthcare networks,”
“Our support for Mobihealth reflects USTDA’s commitment to advancing healthcare infrastructure in partnership with overseas partners and US industry.”
In the same vein, Mobihealth’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Funmi Adewara, said the USTDA’s funding was coming at an opportune time.
“The grant will enable us expand the scope of our integrated telehealth, EMR and digitalization services to other African markets including Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Cote D’Ivoire over the next few years as we aim to tackle deficiencies, particularly in Primary healthcare across Africa,” she said according to a statement.
Majority of the population live in rural areas where access to basic healthcare are scanty and is compounded by the shortage of medical doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals.
Adewara further said, “We have had the privilege of demonstrating the impact of our integrated telehealth solutions working over the past 18 months with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, some PHCs and the Nigerian Air Force amongst others.
“We are now working to scale services to the last mile in Nigeria and other African countries leaving no one behind. African female founders often find it harder to raise funding, so we are extremely grateful that the tireless commitment of the African Investment Forum, AIF, of the AfDB, has yielded this good outcome. It has been invaluable in spotlighting Mobihealth to other credible investors.”
She added, “The outcome of this feasibility studies will unlock further funding as we seek to reach other underserved communities in Africa who share similar challenges in the healthcare sector common to Nigeria. The COVID-19 pandemic is a blessing in disguise; it has exposed the vulnerability of Africa’s healthcare sector and is driving the much-needed action by the public and private sector stakeholders in addressing the inefficiencies, fragmentation, paucity of data and poor infrastructure that has plagued the continent for many decades.”
The Federal Ministry of Health also supported the event.
The Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum, Chinelo Anohu, was quoted as saying, “The awarding of the grant to Mobihealthcare is a welcome manifestation of the MOU signed between the USTDA and AIF one year ago to deliver high-quality infrastructure solutions to sub-Saharan Africa. We now need to apply our collective capacities to secure full financing for the regional expansion of its telehealth service.”