Technology

New app to connect expectant women with caregivers

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Platform allows women to request independent caregivers through a website. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A new web-based service through which mothers can access pre- and post-natal care has been launched.

Amref International University in partnership with Danone Ecosystem Fund unveiled the app that links expectant women and new mothers to caregivers.

The platform called Tunza Mama allows women to request the services of independent caregivers who can attend to them on location. It also provides health education on pregnancy and motherhood.

The caregivers on the platform are all graduates of a course known as ‘entrepreneurship and business skills in applied maternal and child health and nutrition’, offered by the Amref International University. Through the programme, 20 caregivers graduated from the course, with their fees subsidised by as much as Sh25,000.

Danone Ecosystem Fund provided 700,000 euros grant for the establishment of the course and subsidised fees for 88 midwives who graduated from the course.

Other partners in the programme are electronics firm Phillips, Milk processor Brookside, Merck Pharma and Aga Khan University.

Danone said Tunza Mama will enable jobless nurses to use their skills in an entrepreneurial way as well as make “what is seen as a very elite service more mainstream.”

“Personalised antenatal and postnatal care is a fast growing preferred service among middle-class women. Tunza Mama will make it easier for women looking for personal and convenient care to access it at a pocket-friendly cost,” said Dr Githinji Gitahi, the Group CEO of Amref Health Africa.

The cost of consultation per session ranges between Sh4,000 and Sh6,000. This involves advice on complementary feeding, birth preparation classes and postnatal care education.

The caregivers do not provide clinical care, but could in some cases offer some basic assessment. They also help translate information gynaecologists give mothers and provide nutritional expertise which insurers do not pay for.

Two weeks after its launch during this year’s Mother’s Day, the website has received nearly 800 visits as well as inquiries through its social media pages.

As expected, 99 per cent of their audience is women, with a majority aged between 25 and from urban centres.