The Somalian startup ogow health is improving access to care, reporting and information, as well as patient data and reporting. This information can be used for major interventions like immunizations and maternal health.
ogow Health creates digital health solutions that empower and equip healthcare providers, caregivers, and governments in the most remote communities. Its products are designed to increase patient access to records, improve understanding and adherence to health policies, and build trust in healthcare systems through innovative, community-centric approaches.
The system is available in both desktop and mobile formats. It also includes a caregiver interface to help with adherence to immunization schedules and basic healthcare and prevention videos.
“Before COVID-19 was implemented, almost 3.2 million Somalis had no access to healthcare services. There has never been a greater need to have health systems that are universally accessible. COVID-19 demonstrates how the Somalian health system is severely unequal and how healthcare workers are greatly underprepared. Disrupt Africa was told by Khalid Hashi, founder of ogow Health, that gaps in the system are affecting marginalized people while also reversing decades’ worth of progress in health and well-being.
Hashi, who is now based in Canada realized the magnitude of the challenges while on a recent visit to his home country.
“I was a volunteer helping my grandmother’s mother undergo surgery. I saw the limitations of the patient intake and analog scheduling systems as well as the paper records in Somalia’s healthcare system. I was able to recognize that this problem is well-known and solved it with some technology. He said that with my entrepreneurial efforts and my inborn understanding of Somalia’s culture, people, and people, I might be capable of finding a solution.”
After much research, design, prototyping and testing, coaching, mentorship and grants, I created a tool that was easy to use and effective. It was launched in World Vision clinics first. We have continued to improve and expand our toolkits, received additional financial backing in grants and gained more momentum with our partners.
Four clinics have now adopted the startup’s tools, which have been used to serve more than 15,000 patients. ogow was funded by grant funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, Hashi announced that the Canadian Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FITT) provided additional US$200,000 grant capital. This will be used to scale and develop more tools.
He stated that the solution was to support rural and urban health facilities in Somalia through digitization of medical records, promoting public health interventions such as maternity and infant mortality, increasing immunization uptake among women and children, and providing easy access and timely care to patients and caregivers so they can make informed decisions.
“Our beneficiaries include adults, caregivers and children, as well as health professionals working in all levels of the health system. Our platform supports NGO leaders, government officials, and administrators to access consolidated data about various health indicators to aid in reporting, planning, and better informing future decisions.
Although the startup is looking to raise equity funding, it has already grown tremendously without any seed funding. Its web and mobile applications are distributed via B2NGO channels and B2B channels.
Hashi stated that “we’re making revenue and plan to use that money and any other grants or fundraising for product development and scaling.”
“Our tools are made for healthcare facilities and workers in a difficult-to-reach frontier market. We will be focusing on these markets as we expand. These are the markets in which our partners operate, and they need solutions similar to ours.