According to UNICEF, for every 1000 infants born in Cameroon about 148 die and the maternal mortality rate is at 670 per 100 000 births. Shocked by these numbers, Cameroonian entrepreneur Alain Nteff founded Gifted Mom, a mobile health platform that uses low-cost technology to prevent maternal and infant deaths through offering a variety of services.
Gifted Mom is a text message service that expectant and new mothers register for in order to receive advice about their maternal health, and to receive reminders for check-ups, alerts or vaccinations and follow-ups with their antenatal care. The service also provides sex education to teenagers and advice about family planning.
Nteff founded Gifted Mom to combat the lack of knowledge and access to proper healthcare in remote rural communities. The innovative m-health solution has helped 3 400 pregnant women and mothers, with the help of 270 medical professionals in over 21 communities in Cameroon, increasing the rate of antenatal care attendance and infant vaccination by over 20 per cent.
To receive services from Gifted Mom, an expectant mother can text MOM to the designated number to receive a call back offering help signing up for the service. Pregnant women can also text any health-related question to the same number and get a reply from a doctor.
The once-off subscription fee is less than one dollar and all of the subsequent messages are free.
Around 17 per cent of Cameroonian women are illiterate, so the Gifted Mom team is also developing voice technology in four widely spoken traditional languages.
Nteff’s innovation won him the Queen of England's Young Leader Award, the Anzisha Prize, and the World Economic Forum hosted in Davos named him a Global Shaper for 2015.