Opportunity AreaHow might we improve demand and access to essential maternal health medicines & supplies in Uganda??
The proposed title of your ideaMICRO INSURANCE TO CURB MATERNAL MORTALITY
Please describe your idea.We plan to offer transport insurance and maternity cover for pregnant women to enhance their access to essential maternity services
What problem does your idea solve in the market?About 19 women die from maternal mortality in Uganda every day largely due to failure to reach hospitals in time. Their husbands hardly set aside adequate funds required to cater for emergency transport and possible referrals from a poorly resourced health center to a well-equipped health facility. Even if they have funds there are no organized networks of transporters available in their localities that can be called upon to transport a pregnant woman on short notice. They are also ignorant of maternity insurance needed to guarantee that a pregnant woman receives proper maternity service.
Briefly explain how you identified the need or opportunityOur parent developed serious pains while in the rural setting and it was already late that evening. He needed to be transported to hospital that was located over 10 kilometers away. There were not many options available for transport. The only motorbike cyclist who transported him broke down on the way between 10 pm and mid night. We had to make calls to one another as siblings until one of us recalled having saved a phone number of another motor cyclist transporter whom he called to eventually rescue the situation. This has inspired us to develop a database of all transporters in the district who can be easily called upon to offer emergency transport to health centers.
Who are the beneficiaries of your solution and how will they benefit?They include expectant mothers living on less than 5,000 shillings per day largely based in rural areas. They will have a safety net of our broad network of transporters and health facilities that are ready to attend to them in time, to minimize risks of maternal mortality and death of unborn child. They will receive HIV testing from ante natal care to prevent mother to child HIV infections. Mothers will be protected from malaria during pregnancy. Jobs created for our agents and transporters.
Why are you convinced your solution will solve the problem?Our cost plus method of pricing will make our products affordable with small profit margins that do not exceed the cost of capital. We shall employ an experienced actuary to analyze the risks that we are bearing and our premiums. We are set to enter into a public private partnership with ministry of health to promote our innovation. There are plenty of transporters across the country coupled with widespread usage of mobile phones who can be efficiently organized to solve this problem.
What other initiatives like yours exist out there? How will you differentiate your solution?There is a World Bank funded project that provides subsidized vouchers to pregnant women to receive free transport and medical services in some districts. I approached the Team leader of that project who welcomed us to learn from their activities. The same project cannot provide vouchers to all pregnant women in the country sustainably. Most husbands of these women earn income before and during 9 months of pregnancy but need our venture to enable them to save for their wives maternity needs. We can convince them to buy our affordable solutions since they cannot be willing to lose their wives over a small fraction of the dowry they had paid. We are lobbying law makers and highly placed officials in government to consider enacting a new law that makes it mandatory for men to facilitate timely transportation of their wives to health facilities for proper maternity services. We shall also promote family planning services to curb our high maternal mortality rate with associated costs.
What have you done up-to date to test your idea with potential users? What learnings do you have to share?We are seeking for funds to pilot our initiatives in a couple of districts while working towards forming a lasting public partnership with government to facilitate scaling up of our operations. We shall create a database of all proper transport/ambulance service providers in our 2 pilot districts. We plan to use radios and visit rural markets in our pilot rural district to promote our new products and test initial response to our innovation, and determine features we need to improve on as we plan to launch our operations in other districts. We shall also have another pilot district around urban centers that we shall target with a combination of radio and TV advertisements. We shall carry out a baseline survey before undertaking operations that will later on be compared with results of our performance after a period of one or two years to determine the impact of our activities. This will involve deploying our monitoring and evaluation skills from University and other sources.
How will you financially sustain your business?We shall charge premiums for both transport insurance and maternity insurance products, which take into consideration the cost and likelihood of claims to be received from policy holders for each product. Our cost plus method of pricing allows us to earn a margin that should cover the cost of capital to ensure sustainability of our operations. I have skills in cost accounting that makes it possible to determine the cost of each product. We are due to come up with a comprehensive business plan and budgets that will guide our operations to ensure that we are consistently liquid and remain profitable as a business venture. Budgets are important tools that will enable us to control our expenditures so that we can remain solvent as a business and realize profits at the end of each year. We also plan to develop a strategic plan that will determine additional products and services that we can provide to our customers.
Please share a link to a 3 minute online video that best describes your idea and teamhttps://youtu.be/bPz9HQhtJDc
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?Mr. Eporu Ronald: C.E.O Holds a Bachelor’s of Science Honors degree in Quantitative Economics and professional Certified Public Accounting II qualifications. He has a broad collection of skills in mathematics, information technology, management, financial management, taxation, auditing, financial reporting, professional’s ethics and values, business policy and strategy, project planning and management, monitoring and evaluation. He works as an Accounting Lecturer for CPA/ATC students. Ms. Inebe Judith: She is our IT Officer and Lead developer of our database for maintaining records of our transporters, health facilities, customers and transactions. She is a graduate of Information Communication Technology from Makerere University. Ms. Ageyo Eunice: Studied a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science degree from Makerere University. She is willing to join us as our Actuary.
Please tell us about other team members that are not cofounders.Mr. Ekongu Aaron: He is a Social Work and Social Administration graduate. He works as an Uber driver and previously worked as a Sales Executive for a Bank. Mr. Eringu Francis: He holds a diploma in civil engineering and has a background in Mathematics. He is a retailer in a pilot rural district.
Which members of your team will attend the program full-time?Mr. Eporu Ronald Ms. Inebe Judith Ms. Ageyo Eunice Mr. Eringu Francis