Opportunity Area

How might we improve demand and access to essential maternal health medicines & supplies in Uganda??

The proposed title of your idea

ABENO

Please describe your idea.

uses SMS and IVR technology to monitor pregnancy, track child’s health, schedule clinic appointments,and provide affordable delivery kits.

What problem does your idea solve in the market?

In Uganda;1 in every 5 mothers lack access to basic healthcare information and essential medical supplies needed to monitor their pregnancy and keep their child healthy. 80% mothers are poor and do not have access to adequate maternal and child care services caused by the staggering high patient to doctor ratio, high illiteracy levels,irregular income levels and poor health infrastructures. As a result disabilities like Cerebral Palsy,Down Syndrome, Club foot and other complications like:still birth,Miscarriage goes without detection to stages that preventive interventions are no longer useful

Briefly explain how you identified the need or opportunity

In mid 2016, while on a visit to Lira main referral hospital to check on new born babies and expectant mothers,I witnessed firsthand several newborn babies lying naked without essential materials like diapers, others disabled.This proved that 60% mothers lack access to essential birth materials and information required during pregnancy and during a child’s development therefore can not detect any early danger signs and statistically results show that we lose 21 mothers and 290 children under 5 in Uganda each day to easily preventable conditions and many childhood developmental disabilities go unnoticed to a point that cannot be prevented.It is these dismal statistics that inspired "ABENO".

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

Expectant and Nursing mothers of children under 5 years will benefit from ABENO's core features by 1:Getting timely educative SMEs on nutrition, breastfeeding, child development, vaccination and family planning,2:Track their child’s vaccination schedule and get reminders on prenatal and postnatal clinic visits 3:Track pregnancy development and get alert notifications in case of any abnormalities 4:Receive timely referrals to facilities and 5: Access affordable ABENO delivery Kits prior to birth.

Why are you convinced your solution will solve the problem?

Uganda is experiencing a rapid uptake of tech with over 80% of the population owning personal mobile phones. ABENO leverages on the convenience of Text messages, IVR as an easy, scalable, and anonymous way to gain access to people. SMS is a very effective informative & communicative tool because of the 100% opening rate.Also 95% of messages is read within 4 minutes in Uganda.In addition, ABENO kits will be affordable to rural expectant mothers at $5 fee only {afraction of current market price}

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

Other key players exist in the Health market sector like Reproductive Health Uganda, Child Health.org, Referral Hospitals, Marie stops who are providing medical supplies and information to parents about pregnancy or child development related services but expensively. "ABENO" being a hybrid solution distinguishes itself from these organizations by providing a low cost “mobile all-in-one Help desk” solution that enables 2-way communication between mothers and Medical personnel using; SMS and IVR {Interactive Voice Response}, through USSD as well as equipping expectant mothers with affordable “ABENO Kits”:-a delivery kit containing diapers, soaps, thermometer, mosquito net,Middle Upper Arm Circumference used to measure malnutrition in kids, .We aim to partner with like minded MCH focused organization including UNFPA, Ministry of Health,Mobilized construction,WHO, Drug Dash and Telecommunications services like: MTN, Airtel, and UCC to make our SMS services affordable.

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

Our team conducted an early prototype by interviewing parents from marginalized communities who do not have adequate access to health care resources due to financial constraints, myths and literacy levels. Our strategy was to listen to expectant mothers, Nursing mothers and Health workers and draw feedback, we therefore asked them what they would like the solution to look like throughout the process of development, and what they would like to access/benefit from the solution. Using their feedback we learnt that 85% mothers were excited about monitoring their child's health routinely from home via sms service platform, 75% preferred to access the contents in their local language and 90% preferred to receive clinic reminders/Doctors appointments through SMS &IVR systems,In addition, 80% mothers were willing to purchase customized "ABENO's Kits " similar to maama kit containing life saving items like diapers, soaps, thermometer, mosquito net,for the first 90 days of a newborn

How will you financially sustain your business?

To ensure financial sustainability, "ABENO" will operate under a community funded model. We have a business model that utilizes three sources of revenue streams among which include: {1} Licensing of the product to organizations that would like to use the platform for communication purposes. {We Charge these organizations an annual fees of $300 to $600 depending on the number of parents enrolled and monthly SMS charges at a fee of $60}.{2} Capacity Building:- through Training of Trainers workshops {ToT} to enhance the capacity of Nurses, Doctors and Midwives on topics tackling issues around immunization, nutrition, family planning among others.{3} Direct sale of affordable customized “ ABENO kits” to expectant mothers at $5 each (A fraction of the commercial market price}. "ABENO KIT" is starter pack containing all the essential items a mother needs once she has delivered. Eighteen items, which include diapers, soaps, thermometer, mosquito net,Middle Upper Arm Circumference etc.

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

https://youtu.be/-pMduCWgGbw.

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}Daniel Obua Ocari is a public administrator and team leader. He is responsible for team structuring and fundraising. Formerly worked with Childfund international Lira Regional officer as afield officer, under gender based violence and prevention program. Also an alumni of the Young African Leadership Initiative {YALI}.{2}Gabriel Angura is Civil engineer by profession and the chief operating officer. He is responsible for establishing policies that promote companies culture and vision, formerly worked as field manager at Busoga Trust foundation.{3} Ogwang Emmanuel is a computer engineer by profession with skills in HTML/CSS/JS/AJAX. He is responsible for mobile and web Applications design. {4}Andrew Acobi is a Pediatrics nurse by profession with experience on child development, childhood diseases and disabilities, nutrition and infection, and health promotion. Akullo Rebecca Gloria,social administrator with great networking skills and a business coordinator of all our activities.

Please tell us about other team members that are not cofounders.

Other team members include 3 Nutritionists & 2 Paedriatics; who manage the Help-Desk and ensure that contents are medically credible; 2 Software developers; with experience in building robust and scalable mobile applications; 2 operations managers, who ensure company’s growth and scalability.

Which members of your team will attend the program full-time?

Daniel Obua Ocari, Gabriel Angura,Akullo Rebecca Gloria Ogwang Emmanuel, and .Acobi Andrew.

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  • Daniel Obua Ocari
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