Ilara Health of Kenya secures a $1.1 million Gates Foundation grant to enhance maternal health outcomes

Ilara Health, the health-tech company which provides point of care diagnostic testing to small medical care clinics in Kenya, has received a USD$1,120,262 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant are going to be wont to develop effective antenatal care (ANC) interventions and tech based solutions for pregnant women unable to access essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emilian Popa, CEO and Co-founder of Ilara Health while receiving the grant, said; “We are incredibly excited to receive support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance Kenya’s maternal health results and Ilara Health ‘s central goal of improving countrywide access to diagnostics. This grant underscores the acute need for the continuation of essential ANC services during the COVID-19 pandemic and that we hope to ascertain an excellent reduction in poor maternal and neonatal health outcomes through its implementation in these low-resource peri-urban areas.”

Ilara Health, in tandem with the Kisumu Ministry of Health and therefore the Kenya Medical Research Institute, will leverage a network of local medical care facilities, telemedicine, and home-based doctor consultations to make sure safe continuity of life-saving maternal care during the pandemic and beyond.

The grant is predicted to succeed in approximately 4,000 low income pregnant women in peri-urban Kisumu county, addressing a big drop by ANC attendance at large health facilities as concerns for possible COVID-19 transmission grow in these hotspots. Currently but 3% of girls in Kenya complete the planet Health Organization recommended eight ante-natal care appointments, which reduces the likelihood of maternal deaths and stillbirths.

Maternal mortality in Kenya is already high with 342 maternal deaths per 100,000 recorded in 2017; however, Kisumu County has one among the very best rates of maternal death at 595 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2019.

Ilara Health and its partners will work to make sure essential ANC is out there at small local clinics. The project aims to enhance access to diagnostics locally and, through Ilara Health’s technology platform and diagnostic tools, the team will reach pregnant women at their local clinics, individual homes, or remotely collectively providing safe, COVID-free, high-quality care to both mother and baby.

Additionally, through its partnership with Butterfly Network, the corporate behind the telemedicine-enabled Butterfly iQ, a separate set of small facilities without in-house sonographers are going to be linked to imaging specialists so scans that are administered locally are often read and diagnosed remotely in real time, so patients receive immediate feedback. If successful, this feature are going to be unrolled across the larger project to enhance the supply of ultrasounds across peri-urban areas.

The project also aims to drive community awareness on the importance of ANC services and ANC attendance in improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes for longer-term improvement in care.

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