One of the most crucial times in a woman’s life is during her pregnancy, a time that requires women to be vigilant and to seek the best care possible. This may be simple for expecting moms living in urban areas but for women living in rural areas, this has been a struggle for a number of years. A challenge that has resulted in moms losing their new-born babies due to prenatal negligence. To tackle this challenge and to curb maternal mortality, 23 year old Alain Nteff from Cameroon co-founded the “Gifted Mom App” to help Cameroonian women during and after their pregnancies.
The Gifted Mom App is a low-cost mobile health platform that helps new moms and pregnant women living in rural Cameroon get medical advice. Not only does this offer good advice on pregnancy, but the affordable service sends automated SMS alerts to the moms, helping them keep track of important dates for clinical visits. Nteff collaborated with healthcare providers and medical students to create profiles for pregnant women.
According to statistics by the World Health Organisation, less than half the women in the poorest 20% households are likely to receive antenatal care in Africa. The young entrepreneur was visiting a hospital in the rural Cameroon when he witnessed numerous mothers and new-born babies die from conditions that he believed could have been prevented with the right prenatal care. It was this tragic experience that led him to coming up with the App, he wanted to use his engineering skills to empower his community.
In turn, Nteff’s start-up saw him winning the Anzisha Prize for young entrepreneurs which was followed by the young innovator participating in the World Forum at Davos. The app now has over 2000 subscribers and the Cameroonian engineer hopes to reach 50 000 subscribers by the end of 2015.
Alain Nteff’s passion to use his skills to improve the conditions in his community can certainly be admired. We hope that this start-up will inspire entrepreneurs in other rural parts of Africa to come up with more initiatives to empower their communities, just as Gifted Mom is.