By Mark Kawalya
A Ugandan health tech social enterprise has been providing expectant and new mothers critical pre-and postnatal health care services.
Daniel Ruyonga, the CEO of Teheca, says they are working to curb infant and maternal mortalities in Sub-Saharan Africa by providing timely medical care to these women. This is through ensuring timely identification, referral and management of complications that could threaten the lives of these mothers and their infants.
The tech start-up connects expectant mothers to home-based qualified nurse check-up and postnatal support long after their babies have been born. They also furnish them with context-relevant actionable information and maternal support healthy products that are affordable.
The firm was started in 2016 as a personalized general health care service provider however in 2017 they focused their core business on maternal health addressing the high levels of mortality amount infants and mothers in communities.
This category of women can use the firm’s mobile application to firstly schedule at-home check-ups by connecting them to the nearest nurse that can provide a physical check and also give much-needed support on common challenges that new and expectant mothers face.
Secondly, mothers and their families can hire dedicated care service providers from their list which involves a nurse coming to take care of their loved ones while at home or the hospital. This service is aimed at mitigating complications that might arise as well as give rest to caregivers who might be overwhelmed.
However, according to Ruyonga, Teheca is faced with some challenges that slow down their community outreach. “Technology adoption rate is still below that expected to ensure an efficient end to end service delivery, so we have to sometimes get manually involved in ensuring the successful completion of the care service delivery which makes it challenging to grow faster and cover large areas.” He says.
Teheca has mainly been embraced in the urban areas because in Uganda customarily when a woman gives birth, she goes back to her parents or aunts house where she is taken care of, but this is often not possible in urban areas that have experienced a lot of changes in the social customs of the country.
The firm has averted more than 350 postnatal complications and has reached more than 40,000 mothers by providing them with postnatal kits. Additionally, they carry out community outreaches where mothers are engaged.