Ilara Health, a Kenyan e-health startup, has received the sum of $1.1 million to facilitate maternal healthcare delivery in the east African country.
The grant was awarded in September 2020, and is expected to help take care of about 4, 000 pregnant women in under-served communities such as Kenya’s Kisumu Country. This will be achieved through the provision of effective antenatal care by making use of “tech-based solutions”
It should be noted that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of pregnant women in Kenya have been unable to access essential medical care. Illara Health is now working in partnership with local health authorities and a number of local primary health facilities to bring care to women right where they are. The grant will go a long way to facilitate this.
A statement seen by Business Elites Africa noted that the startup’s Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Emilian Popa, expressed deep excitement over the grant.
“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,” he said.
Note that Illara Health which is based in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, said on its website that it “makes common diagnostics accessible and affordable to the 500 million people in Africa who today struggle to access even basic blood tests.” In August 2019, the startup raised the sum of $735 000 worth of seed funding, led by a group of angel investors and venture capital (VC) firms.