*** Telehealth kiosks like this one operated by Mobihealth are targeting gaps in Africa’s primary healthcare ***
By Staff Reporter
Abuja-based telemedicine provider Mobihealthcare Limited has received grant funding from the United States Trade and Development Agency. The funding will support the provider of telehealth services to assess the feasibility of expansion beyond Nigeria into Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya and Egypt. The company was one of 40 presented to investors during a series of virtual investment meetings organized by the Africa Investment Forum(link is external) in March 2022.
Telemedicine entails diagnosing and finding solutions to medical problems via remote consultation with a healthcare provider.
Citing this development as tangible evidence of the power of the Africa Investment Forum platform, Senior Director said that such strategic partnerships are critical as AIF increases the proportion of innovative deals that are women-led, and women impactful.
The announcement marks an important milestone for Mobihealth, the Nigerian subsidiary of UK- based Mobihealth International(link is external)Ltd, which first rolled out its services in 2020. The grant is expected to advance Mobihealth’s goal of reaching and treating at least one million patients within ten years.
Founded in 2017 by Funmi Adewara, a Nigerian-British doctor and entrepreneur, Mobihealth Ltd provides telehealth consultations in Nigeria via smartphone app, voice call, and web browser.
Mobihealth has set up telehealth kiosks on the premises of corporations, schools and churches that provide 24/7 access to local and international medical experts and remote diagnostic tools. Other offerings include an electronic medical record platform for hospitals and clinics, and Covid-19 and other diagnostic testing services.
‘The USTDA grant comes at an opportune time and will enable us to expand the scope of our integrated telehealth, EMR and digitalization services over the next few years. African female entrepreneurs find it much harder to raise funds, so this support from the USTDA, made possible through the Africa Investment Forum’s unique ability to attract investors to close Africa’s investment gaps, will be invaluable,” said Adewara.
The financing also affirms the critical role of the Africa Investment Forum as a marketplace for transactions that close Africa’s investment gaps. In March 2022, Mobihealth featured in a virtual boardroom session as part of its efforts to raise $67 million to finance a strategy that includes establishing an integrated, proprietary telemedicine platform. The company plans to roll out what it calls multi-diagnostic virtual health centers incorporating virtual reality technology in the five target countries. Mobihealth is also looking to acquire new customers, and forge partnerships with healthcare providers.
Chinelo Anohu, Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum, said, “We are delighted to have curated this deal and to support Mobihealth as it aims to extend its telehealth services from Nigeria, where it has an established presence, to underserved populations across the continent. Given increasing connectivity and growing investment in the health technology sector, we are encouraged that this USTDA-funded study will enable Mobihealth to offer telehealth solutions that can be accessed in multiple ways across the continent. We look forward to continuing to connect Africa to investors from around the world.”
Affordable, simple telehealth solutions offer a potentially dramatic increase in access to healthcare services, with particular benefits for rural dwellers in many parts of the world, including Africa.
In addition to sourcing transactions that offer a strong return on investment, the Africa Investment Forum prioritizes projects that benefit livelihoods across the continent, such as access to electricity, transport, infrastructure, and health care. The Africa Investment Forum also promotes sectors where Africa has a comparative advantage, such as creative industries, music, film, textiles, and sports.
Projects across these sectors and more will feature at the Africa Investment Forum 2022 Market Days event that will take place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from 2 to 4 November.
Market Days 2022 will bring together investors, deal sponsors, and government ministers from across the world to advance transactions that have been prepared for investment-to-investment closure.
Since its inception in 2018, the Africa Investment Forum platform has mobilized investment interests in excess of $100 billion.
The platform is an initiative of the African Development Bank and seven other development institutions: Africa 50; the Africa Finance Corporation; the African Export-Import Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa; the Trade and Development Bank; the European Investment Bank; and the Islamic Development Bank.
In November 2021, the Africa Investment Forum signed a memorandum of outstanding with USTDA to support high-quality infrastructure solutions for sub-Saharan Africa. The pact draws on the Africa Investment Forum’s capacity to mobilize capital and USTDA’s focus on assuring the bankability of deals. It has already led to a mutually beneficial collaboration to advance sustainable infrastructure projects that support Africa’s long-term growth, as the two organizations share their deal pipelines.