Adeloye Olanrewaju – Social Entrepreneur Transforming Maternal Health in Africa

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It is estimated that over 600,000 maternal deaths and no less than 900,000 maternal near-miss cases occurred in Nigerian between 2005 and 2015, according to the World Health Organisation. With a maternal mortality ratio of 814 in every 1000 live births, Nigeria accounts for almost 20 per cent of the global maternal deaths.

These alarming health indices have been a major concern to administrators and stakeholders in the health sector for years. Thus, when Adeloye Olanrewaju introduced SaferMom (an innovative solution to improve maternal and infant health), it received tremendous support both locally and internationally.

Olanrewaju is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur and growth hacker, who is passionate about maternal and newborn health. In 2015, Olanrewaju cofounded SaferMom, an innovative social enterprise in Nigeria that deploys mobile technologies (SMS, voice calls, social media) in local languages to provide vital health information to new and expectant mothers.

Olanrewaju is also the cofounder of Babymigo – a smart platform that helps pregnant and nursing mothers to ask, find, book and connect with doctors, experts, and child care services. These innovative health solutions have earned him awards, recognitions, and grants from several tech giants, including Google and Facebook.

Adeloye Olanrewaju

 Path to greatness

Olanrewaju Adeloye was born on June 12, 1992, in south-west Nigeria. He studied Human Physiology at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, where he earned his Bachelors of Science degree in 2014. During his National Youth Service Corps programme in 2015, he was deployed to the Ekiti State Primary Healthcare Board, where he served for one year. During this period he was constantly in contact with many primary health facilities in Ekiti State, where he observed that expectant and nursing mothers weren’t getting the psychological, social and healthcare support they needed.

Many pregnant women and nursing mothers were not accessing the several health programmes designed by the government in the state because of inadequate information and sensitisation. Aside from the lack of access to quality healthcare, many of them do not have adequate information to make informed health decisions. As a result, maternal and infant mortality is still a major public health challenge in the state, just like many other states in the country.

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According to the WHO, a Nigerian woman has a one in 22 lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum/post-abortion; whereas in the most developed countries, the lifetime risk is 1 in 4900. Olanrewaju came up with the idea to provide these women with the information needed for them to stay healthy during pregnancy, and to access the various antenatal healthcare available in several health facilities. This led to the launch of SaferMom in 2015, alongside his friend, Cletus Ajibade, who is a software developer.

Since its establishment, SaferMom has impacted significantly on millions of women from thousands of African communities, using voice calls, mobile SMS, helplines, and a mobile App. SaferMom uses these communication tools to help women track milestones in pregnancy and nursing their babies, including vaccination dates, health tips, disease prevention guides and home remedies. Mothers can also dial a short code to access vital health information and important announcements in the local languages, as well as request ambulances during an emergency.

In 2017, two years after the successful launch of SaferMom, Olanrewaju cofounded Babymigo – a fast growing community of expecting mothers and parents in Africa to find trusted information and connect with doctors, experts, and childcare services. Babymingo’s scalable mobile and web apps offers a smart platform where expecting mothers and parents can connect and discuss issues with experienced peers, paediatricians, gynaecologists, lactation consultants, midwives, maternity and child services in real time.

In the first three weeks of launch, the Babymigo app was downloaded by 20,000 mothers in Nigeria. The chat service is accessed 500 times daily for consultations on topics, ranging from breastfeeding, body changes, adolescent & sexual reproductive health, family planning, baby food and nutrition, etc.

Babymigo is backed by the prestigious Google Launchpad Accelerator, Facebook, among others. In 2018, Time magazine named Babymigo as one of 50 most genius companies, alongside Google, Airbnb, Clue, Pinterest among others.

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Before SaferMom and Babymigo, Olanrewaju had always had a deep passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. In 2012, he cofounded Lans and Creamy, a Vista print for Africa and branding company which provides world-class custom made items, promotional & corporate gifts to SMEs and top brands in Nigeria.

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