Nigerian e-health startup Mobicure has been awarded an Expo Live grant from organisers of the next World Expo, being held in Dubai in 2020, for its OMOMI application, which helps expectant mothers and parents of under-five-year-olds monitor the wellbeing of their children from home.
The programme will grant up to US$100,000 per initiative for its Innovation Impact Grant Programme – to be made available incrementally depending on progress and results.
Mobicure was awarded the grant for OMOMI, a mobile platform that at the touch of a button enables mothers to easily monitor their children’s health, as well as provides access to life-saving maternal and child health information plus medical expertise.
The service – launched in Benin City in 2015 – already has 31,000 users with over 4,000 active users monthly, and has witnessed a 450 per cent rise in user engagement over the last nine months.
The funding from the Expo Live programme will help it reach even more families. Expo 2020 Dubai’s Expo Live programme has an allocation of US$100 million to back projects that offer creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives.
Owobu Emmanuel Osayi, a doctor and co-founder of OMOMI, said OMOMI was inspired by painful memories.
“While I was a medical doctor, I had a very painful experience. A young mother came into the emergency room crying and holding a baby,” he said.
“Looking at the baby, I knew he was severely dehydrated, and looking into his history, I saw he had been suffering from diarrhoea for some time, so I asked the mother why she took so long to bring him into the hospital. She said she thought she could wait until the morning.”
Though attempts were made to resuscitate the baby and give him fluids, he eventually died.
“The mother, crying, picked up her phone and called her family members. I asked her why she hadn’t used her phone to get information or help online, and she said she didn’t know how; she didn’t have a platform to help her do that,” Osayi said.
“A few months later a friend called and told me about a very similar situation. We talked and decided we needed to find a solution.”
He said the Expo Live grant would help Mobicure further build on the OMOMI platform, providing more features and health information, as well as bring it to the attention of more parents in Sub-Saharan Africa.