Innovate For Life! Powered by AMREF Health africa.

AMREF Health Africa in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Nailab,put out a call for application in December 1st  2016 through the campaign Innovate For Life, calling for innovative solutions to help curb Maternal Mortality and Infant Loss rates in Africa and across the globe. The campaign called for techpreneurs, midwives, doctors and entrepreneurs to learn, discuss and understand the preventable causes that contribute to the high mortality rates and consequently develop solutions that could be rolled out under the leadership of Amref Health Africa.

The campaign,  through various engagements online and offline saw a total of 117  applications submitted to the program.

The applications were then vetted and narrowed down to 15 innovations whose founders attended a two day hackathon at the Amref Health Africa Headquarters, in Nairobi.


The Hackathon

The Hackathon, held on the 7th and 8th of March, produced 3 winning innovations, Chanjo Plus from Kenya, Wekebere from Uganda and HelpMum from Nigeria (please hyperlink to the sites), who presented their innovative solutions at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference, (AHAIC 2017). The The 3 winning social-entrepreneurs will go through an acceleration program in their countries of operation, through the guidance of Nailab, and this will see them paired with expert mentors, received training and coaching on different businesses support service and allow them access to seed-capital of KES 300,000.

Due to the competitiveness of the solutions developed at the hackathon, 2 other startups were selected and Nailab offered to  support them through acceleration. The two, Pregmum and Afya plan, will over the next 3 months, work alongside Nailab who will offer business support services in  refining their products and testing as they prepare to roll out the solutions to the market.

The campaign has been part of the Africa Health Agenda by Amref Health Africa, which seeks to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by providing a new framework for global health.


The 3 finalists selected after a rigorous 2 day vetting process were:


HelpMum is a social enterprise that uses the power of mobile technology to reduce maternal and infant mortality focusing on preventive measures in Africa. We help pregnant women ease stress and provide them with antenatal care date and immunization date reminders and personalized and significant lifesaving health information on their mobile phone. We also provide nursing mother of children under 5 life saving health tip and health information like diarrhea management ,nutritional advice using innovative low cost mobile technologies such as our HelpMum Mobile App, SMS Reminder Services, HelpMum blog, Podcasts, Voice call reminder and Call a Doctor Service. We use mobile technology to help pregnant women and nursing mothers by harnessing medical expertise . We are also proud to offer a unique blend of expertise and patient centered care for pregnant women and nursing mothers in all stages of life and health


Chanjo Plus

The project is a mobile service that offers a digital vaccination management alternative by tracking and tracing every individual child’s vaccination history, tracking vaccination defaulters through Geo-tagging and generating vaccination data real time as well as sending vaccination reminders to registered mothers mobile phones. .We are able to determine vaccination utilization levels based on the vaccination data analytics and thereby prevent vaccine wastage. We take consideration of open source technology through cloud hosting and storage. Our main aim is to ensure that the over 1.5 million vaccine-preventable deaths are eliminated through ensuring that every child gets full immunization that is scientific evidence-based as we understand the health, economic, and social impact of full immunization


Wekebere is a handheld self diagnostic device that monitors conditions of unborn babies. The hand-held fetal monitor is particularly useful in remote areas that are hard-to-reach in terms of health service delivery. The portable fetal monitor consists of a belt with sensors that the expectant mother wraps around the abdomen. The active sensors on the belt send vital signals regarding the fetus to a micro-controller that transmits a color-coded result of the fetal status. This technology was developed as an effort to address the high rates of maternal mortality as well as infant deaths associated with complications during pregnancy especially in rural areas of Africa with poorly developed public and private healthcare systems.