Jennie Nwokoye and Itoro Inoyo are bringing clinic-to-dwelling products and services to rural communities in Nigeria


“No matter your bustle, gender or socioeconomic location, health is a chief human magnificent and nobody desires to be omitted” 

This changed into talked about by Itoro Inoyo, co-founding father of Clafiya, in no doubt one of Clafiya’s explainer movies on YouTube.

In extra developed countries, Itoro’s phrases could well be current as an unarguable reality, nonetheless in a developing nation esteem Nigeria with a laggard healthcare sector, her phrases simplest be aware to a minute chop of contributors who can come up with the money for healthcare.

The bid surrounding the Nigerian healthcare system has deteriorated such that the president and other politicians can’t possibility receiving clinic treatment within the nation. 

In 2017, Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, spent bigger than three months in a foreign nation for a medical time out. His most up-to-date time out took location a few weeks ago. A extremely crucial quiz here is this: if Nigeria’s president – the most highly efficient man within the nation – can’t earn admission to upright clinic treatment within the nation, how can the frequent citizen earn admission to quality healthcare?  Nigerians trouble that Buhari’s frequent medical journeys in a foreign nation are a demonstration that the nation’s healthcare system is diagram from getting mounted. 

Attempting to bridge the healthcare gap in Nigeria, Jennie conceived Clafiya

Jennie Nwokoye nurtured an opinion to provide a medical system to cater to the Nigerian inhabitants when she changed into youthful. She wasn’t ready to construct a upright framework spherical her opinion except she started learning for her master’s level in  system engineering and management at Georgetown University. 

Though her American accent could well indicate otherwise, Jennie lived in Nigeria from when she changed into 8 and left when she changed into 14 years primitive. Rising up in an affluent household supposed that her fogeys tried to defend her from the a immense assortment of disorders that plagued Nigeria. Nevertheless Jennie changed into an inquisitive youngster who changed into gentle ample to grab that earn admission to to healthcare within the nation changed into and is unexcited very now not going for the larger populace.

“Imagine having relatives or chums who own either died or had shut calls because they weren’t ready to earn earn admission to to healthcare,” Jennie tells me all over our chat.

“So that changed into a profound skills that had stayed with me all this time and has change into one thing I wish to resolve.”  She wanted to provide a system outdoors of a clinic surroundings because, per her, “there are methods to adjust this mission and to boot you don’t necessarily must be a doctor to attain that.”  Her starvation to determine handle the healthcare mission in Nigeria, is what gave delivery to Clafiya.

Assembly Itoro and leveraging partnership

Jennie met Itoro at a concert in 2016. They’d lengthy conversations about the Nigerian labour market and earn admission to to healthcare products and services within the nation. Itoro suggested me that Clafiya changed into within the starting build known as “Healthcare Mobile” in 2019 and that she changed into Jennie’s traipse-to person for recordsdata relating to starting up and medical products and services in Nigeria. 

Itoro Inoyo has labored within the healthcare sector for several years. She studied at the University of Massachusetts Lowell the build she obtained a bachelor’s level in organic science. She furthermore purchased a master’s level in public health from Drexel University Dornsife College of Public Health.

Even supposing she wasn’t officially a co-founder but, Itoro’s candid advice to Jennie at the initial stage got here from her wealth of skills as she has travelled by sub-rural communities in Nigeria following her work as a gender and PED analyst. 

A turning level in their working relationship got here in 2020 when Itoro chanced on a pitch competition led by Ladies in Worldwide Health. 

“We utilized for that, and folks assumed we were co-founders. We had an unlimited working relationship and so we made up our minds to attain it.”

Clafiya ended up a hit the grant. 

How Clafiya works

Clafiya is a digital platform that connects patients in semi-metropolis and rural areas to Community Health Workers (CHWs). It presents famous care products and services to folks from the consolation of their properties.

“With our quick USSD code, Nigerians with tiny earn admission to to famous care products and services can register, pay, and interrogate for the closest registered CHW to arrange dwelling-basically basically based fully products and services,” says Jennie.

Clafiya leverages AI to be aware predictive analytics to geotagged USSD messages for illness surveillance of rising illness outbreaks in rural and much-off areas. 

This furthermore permits authorities companies and coverage-makers to compose recordsdata-pushed decisions on resource allocation in impacted areas. 

There are two processes to abolish earn admission to to the platform, the registration course of and the appointment scheduling course of. 

Using USSD, a skill buyer will dial the codes *347*58# and then proceed to acknowledge to some interior most questions. If you can presumably own efficiently registered on the platform, you’ll receive a textual hiss material message, and must be ended in purchase a opinion. 

Clafiya has four varied plans: In vogue (Pay As You Chase), Single Opinion, Maternity Care, and Family. After a prospective Clafiya consumer picks and must pay for a opinion, they’re registered on the platform and enabled to time table appointments. 

The In vogue, otherwise identified as pay as you traipse (PAYG) opinion prices  ₦2000 ($4.9).  Jennie says the PAYG opinion changed into designed to enable folks to pay out of their pockets.  

“We’re hoping that as we penetrate these communities, folks would subscribe to what I’d call the quasi insurance coverage opinion, the build the prices open at  ₦3000 ($7.3) for a single opinion nonetheless that covers all of the famous care products and services that we are providing along with the maternity care opinion.”

The maternity equipment prices  ₦3500 ($8.5). The most costly medical equipment is the household opinion at ₦5000 ($12.2). 

Testing stage and gaining earn admission to

Jennie talked about in our chat that Clafiya changed into built to meet possibilities wherever they’re.

In their enviornment analyses and initial checking out stage, Itoro published that rather a few Nigerians, in particular females, were haunted to race to healthcare amenities. This, she talked about, changed into because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 “We wanted to provide a solution that could potentially work for the everyday Nigerian, even whenever you’re in a elevated socioeconomic location.” 

In Nigeria, a immense percentage of the inhabitants is unexcited now not related to the get so as unheard of as the get industry is scaling, a huge assortment of folks are being left within the back of. 

Itoro talked about “Clafiya wanted to meet the desires of populations that nearly all of systems own forgotten. That’s why we made up our minds to attain dwelling-basically basically based fully products and services to bring these products and services to folks’s doorsteps.”

“All people looks to be building apps, magnificent? And the frequent Nigerian, even though they own got a phone, could well now not own a smartphone, whenever you can presumably own a smartphone, you can well presumably now not own recordsdata, whenever you can presumably own recordsdata, you can presumably own community disorders that limits earn admission to to the provider. USSD is the closest methodology to read the minority inhabitants.”

The Clafiya team has performed their research, examined their instruments, and per them, no doubt one of many things folks genuinely seem to esteem about america provider is that it enables them to be within the driving force’s seat of their health. They earn to call the healthcare staff who reach to the products and services and fully be up to tempo of who attends to them and at what time. 

Building Clafiya as females 

Clafiya is at the moment running in Enugu, a relate within the southeastern section of Nigeria and whereas they’re planning to compose bigger into other capabilities of the nation, it took rather an effort to earn the upright recordsdata wanted to earn admission to doable possibilities. Jennie loves to construct it that they were “shamelessly” going to authorities offices and looking ahead to long hours in expose to earn the recommendations they wanted. 

Building self assurance as a girl is one methodology to scale by some huddles when going by folks. 

“Some folks obtained’t remove me seriously staunch because I’m a girl. They search at me as a minute lady.  Nevertheless I reflect at the same time as you’re ready to present the facts and to boot you’re it, they’re at possibility of remove you a minute bit extra seriously,” Jennie suggested me. 

Itoro furthermore talked about leveraging on present relationships she has with healthcare staff has made their gallop loads more uncomplicated. 

Why Clafiya is varied

They must now not in Lagos. 

In Nigeria, every famous tech startup will doubtless own its target market injurious in Lagos. With dwelling-grown startups esteem Flutterwave and Paystack, Lagos is arguably Africa’s most handsome tech hub for talent, alternatives and traders. 

While Lagos has the supreme market measurement for from now on or less industry in Nigeria, other communities are basically omitted when unusual initiatives and technologies reach to Nigeria. 

The resolution to open off in Enugu is so that the broader Nigerian inhabitants can own earn admission to to the provider and never be omitted. Nevertheless, shifting forward, Clafiya plans to compose bigger to other communities in Nigeria.

Jennie and Itoro explain the famous aim of creating the product is so they’ll cowl that earn admission to to quality health is a chief magnificent for everyone, no matter your bustle, gender, or socioeconomic location.

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