Nigerian health tech platform Babymigo makes motherhood easier and reduces maternal and neonatal mortality

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria’s 40 million women of childbearing age (15 to 49) face a disproportionate number of birth-related health problems.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sub-Saharan Africa has the highest neonatal mortality rate in the world (27 deaths per 1,000 live births), accounting for 43% of global neonatal deaths.

Driving home, over 7 million babies are born in Nigeria every year, but about 262,000 die at birth.

Meanwhile, WHO reports that a Nigerian woman has a lifetime risk of 1 in 22 of dying during pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum/post-abortion, compared to 1 in 4,900 in developed countries.

This is because many pregnant women in Nigeria are either unable to afford healthcare or do not receive adequate healthcare due to a lack of services in their communities.

Cultural factors, lack of education and poverty can also influence their health care choices.

That’s why Kemi Olawoye (Chief Executive Officer) and Adeloye Olanrewaju (Chief Product Marketer) founded Babymigo to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality by providing resources and information to pregnant women and mothers.

How it all started

Co-founder of Babymigo, Kemi Olavoye; Source: Supplied.

Olanrewaju studied physiology at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Nigeria. Before graduating, he started working as a product developer. He now has more than ten years of experience.

After school, he worked with pregnant women and saw their challenges, including a lack of community support, access to health professionals, and inaccurate information.

Olavoye, on the other hand, studied physiotherapy at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. After graduating in 2014, she worked at the hospital, making sure mothers got the exercise and rest they needed.

“We had a lot of mothers who didn’t know about the various medical conditions that exist. And I knew that if they had the right information even during the pregnancy, it would have helped them during and after the pregnancy. So my co-founder and I met in 2016, shared ideas and played with the idea,” she explains.

They started developing the product in 2017 and launched it in 2020.

Olavoye has over seven years of experience in business development, marketing and communications.

“We felt like we had unique traits and experiences to take with us,” she says.

Making motherhood easier with different product offerings

A screenshot of Babymigo's homepage

Babymigo is a web-based platform that claims to reduce maternal and child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, starting with Nigeria, by providing expert-led information, tools and resources through the community-led platform.

The platform works with women at different stages of their pregnancy and parenthood to empower, equip and provide them with tools and resources that improve maternal and child health outcomes.

When you sign up, you’ll be asked where you are in your parenting journey: pregnant, trying to conceive, or already a parent.

“From an information standpoint, we recognize several unique cultural challenges faced by pregnant women and parents on the African continent. Thus, our resources, tools and information are specific and tailored to our Nigerian community.

“We also ensure that our information is expert-led to dispel myths about babies and pregnant women. Several culturally written myths are not medically verified. So all articles and materials we post on our platform are expert-verified.” says Olawoye.

Mothers can take advantage of the platform’s tools, such as the Vaccination Calendar, which they can use to discover when their child needs vaccinations and vaccinations.

There is also an ovulation calculator, which is very useful for women trying to conceive.

Mothers can also use the platform to ask questions and receive answers from other mothers dealing with similar issues, with experts available to validate the information they receive.

Gynecologists, pediatricians, midwives, nutritionists, content creators and social media managers make up the company’s healthcare professionals.

In addition, Babymigo offers hyper-local support services.

Users can access more than 20 community groups based on their interests, filter for specific threads, and search for users or moms within a specific age group or location.

The aim is to make motherhood easier by offering various products, including MamaCare, maternity care insurance. Babymigo partners with more than 120 hospitals in Nigeria to provide subsidized births and childcare to mothers and their children until they turn one.

It offers PreggClass, a digital program for pregnant women, to help them with their hospital and mental health experiences.

“However, we know from our research that the experience is insufficient to prepare women for motherhood and childbirth. So we are leveraging technology because we know that women can access classes on a weekly basis by using technology. They can also interact with a group of pregnant women and share symptoms and experiences,” reveals Olavoye.

How sustainable is Babymigo?

The company generates revenue from its offerings, which include MamaCare and PreggClass.

“Because we work with more than 120 hospitals, MamaCare’s costs vary depending on several factors, including the type of hospital the mother prefers (luxury or not), her plans for a vaginal or caesarean section, and whether the delivery is a single delivery or multiple births’, Olavoye explains.

Depending on their choices, mothers can make a one-time payment of as little as ₦100,000 ($217.16) or higher to access this service.

According to Babymigo, the costs cover antenatal care, delivery and hospitalization during and after childbirth, particularly for mothers with cesarean sections. It also includes baby care and vaccinations until the child is one year old.

The monthly fee for PreggClass programs is between ₦1,000 ($2.17) and ₦2,000 ($4.34) and runs from when the women become pregnant until two to four weeks after giving birth.

According to the company, it has received funding from well-known companies, including Facebook and Google.

In 2018, it was part of Google’s Africa Launchpad Accelerator platform and one of the recipients of the 2021 Google Black Founders Fund.

It has received several awards, including the GIST Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Award and the AXA FemTech Accelerator Program.

Since launching, Babymigo says it has reached over a million parents and has more than 200,000 users.

The company plans to expand its reach to more mothers as part of its expansion strategy. It also plans to develop and launch additional mother support services even as it plans to expand its reach to Ghana and Kenya in 2023.

Babymigo aims to reach remote areas by launching a USSD service, making the platform and solution more accessible to rural women.

Nigerian health tech platform Babymigo makes motherhood easier and reduces maternal and neonatal mortality

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