NIGERIA —The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a US$67 million grant to Nigeria’s Mobihealthcare Limited (Mobihealth) for a feasibility study to support the expansion of its telehealth services.

The funding will support Mobihealth to assess the feasibility of expansion beyond Nigeria into Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt.

Part of the funding will also go towards conducting a detailed market assessment, financial analysis, and legal and regulatory assessment for each of the four countries.

The studies will support Mobihealth’s goal of reaching and treating at least one million patients within ten years.

Mobihealth CEO Funmi Adewara said: “The USTDA grant comes at an opportune time and will enable us to expand the scope of our integrated telehealth, electronic medical records, and digitalization services to several other African markets over the next few years.”

Currently operating in Nigeria and London, Mobihealth connects millions of Africans to medical practitioners worldwide through video consultations from their mobile devices.

It has set up telehealth kiosks on the premises of corporations, schools, and churches that provide 24/7 access to local and international medical experts and remote diagnostic tools.

Other offerings include an electronic medical record platform for hospitals and clinics, and Covid-19 and other diagnostic testing services.

The announcement marks an important milestone for Mobihealth, the Nigerian subsidiary of UK- based Mobihealth International Ltd, which first rolled out its services in 2020.

The grant is expected to advance Mobihealth’s goal of reaching and treating at least one million patients within ten years.

Founded in 2017 by Funmi Adewara, a Nigerian-British doctor and entrepreneur, Mobihealth Ltd provides telehealth consultations in Nigeria via smartphone app, voice call, and web browser.

Telemedicine has sprung up to fill the void left by a shortage of medical personnel in many parts of Africa.

Put into context, more than 400 million people live with little or no access to healthcare in African continent, and half of this population lives in rural areas, but only one-quarter of African doctors are deployed there.

According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria, Africa’s richest and most populous country, has only four doctors for every 10,000 patients.

This pales in comparison to the United States’ and United Kingdom’s physician densities of 26 and 28 doctors per 10,000 people, respectively.

The grant funding was made possible by the support received from the Africa Investment Forum (AIF), which signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2021 with USTDA to support high-quality infrastructure solutions for sub-Saharan Africa.

The AIF is an initiative of the African Development Bank and seven partner institutions to accelerate transactions and attract investors to close Africa’s investment gaps.

Since its inception in 2018, the Africa Investment Forum platform has mobilized investment interests in excess of US$100 billion.

Citing this development as tangible evidence of the power of the Africa Investment Forum platform, Chinelo Anohu, Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum said that such strategic partnerships are critical as AIF increases the proportion of innovative deals that are women-led, and women impactful.

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