Nigeria’s LifeBank launches fund for essential medical products

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Nigerian e-health startup LifeBank has launched Blood and Oxygen Access Trust (BOAT), a NGN100 million (US$278,000) fund aimed at democratising access to blood and oxygen by providing these essential medical products to poor and vulnerable Nigerians at no cost.

Founded in 2016, the Lagos-based LifeBank offers an online platform that connects hospitals with blood banks, and blood banks with donors, while late last year it launched AirBank, an emergency medical oxygen delivery service.

The startup also last year teamed up with Nigerian payments company Flutterwave to fund a pilot programme that paid for the essential medical product needs of less privileged children. The two companies funded the blood and blood component needs of children supported by the Dorcas Cancer Foundation who are undergoing treatment for childhood cancer at LUTH.

Based on its experiences from the pilot, LifeBank has now rolled out BOAT. The startup will work with doctors to identify low income patients who can benefit from the programme, and invite doctors who work with this patient demographic to register on the BOAT platform. Companies, religious congregations, and other organisations can donate using BOAT, gaining access to a dashboard where they can track the disbursements of their donations.

“LifeBank believes that no Nigerian should die from a lack of essential medical products at the hospital level, and we are working to make this a reality,” said Temie Giwa-Tubosun, LifeBank’s chief executive officer (CEO) and founder.

“We also strongly believe that economic circumstances should not be a barrier to healthcare access. Therefore, we are mobilising our community – doctors, health workers, funding partners – to join us in democratising access to blood and oxygen by supporting BOAT.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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