Kenyan healthtech startup Ilara Health has secured $1.1 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The startup’s vision is to positively impact antenatal care in peri-urban areas which are located adjacent to urban areas in the country.
It is reported that the proceeds from the funding will be used to support and improve maternal health outcomes in Kenya. In fact, the startup has collaborated with the Kisumu Ministry of Health and the Kenya Medical Research Institute to ensure that the right amount of care is provided.
Emilian Popa, CEO and co-founder of Ilara Health, told the media, “We are incredibly excited to receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve Kenya’s maternal health outcomes and promote Ilara Health’s core mission of improving access to diagnostics countrywide. This grant underscores the acute need for the continuation of essential ANC services during the Covid-19 pandemic; we hope to see a great reduction in poor maternal and neonatal health outcomes through its implementation in these low-resource peri-urban areas.”
The startup received the grant in September and it is expected to reach 4,000 low-income expectant mothers in peri-urban Kisumu county. It is reported that less than 3 percent of women in the country complete the suggested eight ante-natal care appointments by the World Health Organisation.
That said, Ilara Health is also planning to enhance access to diagnostics locally and through its technology platform. It has also partnered with a telemedicine company to provide real-time medical feedback.