Founded in 2016, LifeBank is a Nigerian health technology startup created to address the issue of blood shortages in Nigeria. The startup recently expanded to Kenya and aims to save lives across all of Africa. LifeBank has succeeded in saving more than 10,000 lives in critical emergencies and plans to save 990,000 more lives as it extends its reach to Kenya. The startup works to find technological solutions to improve healthcare in Africa.
LifeBank has dedicated itself to solving the problems of healthcare in Africa. Founder Temie Giwa-Tubosun was initially inspired by her own child’s birth, which took place in the United States. The baby was born prematurely and Giwa-Tubosun could have died of postpartum hemorrhage had she given birth in Nigeria. Giwa-Tubosun told Africa Renewal that “Eight out of 10 women who bleed to death while giving birth can be saved if blood is readily available.” Blood shortages are common in Nigeria and other African countries. Giwa-Tubosun created LifeBank to address this issue.
LifeBank has had a profound impact on healthcare in Africa. The innovative company “uses data, technology and smart logistics to improve the discoverability, delivery, affordability and safety of essential medical products like blood and oxygen for health systems” in Nigeria and Kenya. Since its creation, LifeBank has saved thousands of lives by delivering more than 25,000 essential medical products to roughly 550 hospitals in need.
How LifeBank Works
A strong health supply chain engine in Africa is characterized by a 24-hour delivery service from ports to medical centers. LifeBank works to make this process affordable, adaptable and accessible to everyone. LifeBank uses every type of delivery service, including “bikes, boats, trucks, tricycles and drones.” The company utilizes Google Maps to calculate and monitor the routes involved in blood transportation.
LifeBank uses AI and Blockchain in its distribution system. Its deployment services utilize USSD or SMS to ensure universal access. Patients or doctors place a phone call to LifeBank or make an order through the company’s app. Then, LifeBank contacts the blood bank closest to the patient and the delivery service begins. LifeBank’s service is on-demand. It works across eight states in Nigeria and will now expand to Kenya. The company is able to deliver supplies in less than 50 minutes. LifeBank has made a visible impact on healthcare in Africa and intends to continue doing so.
Improving Healthcare in Africa
According to the World Health Organization, “nearly 20% of all global maternal deaths” occur in Nigeria. Access to blood could significantly reduce cases of maternal deaths involving blood loss. The Nigerian National Blood Transfusion Service often raises concerns about the lack of blood donors in the country, which significantly impacts the blood shortage in Nigeria.
LifeBank aims to solve two major problem areas in the health sector of Africa: accessibility and infrastructure. People in need of blood or hospitals, especially those located in rural areas, have no access to essential medical supplies. Further, blood banks are searching for patients and hospitals to provide for. LifeBank helps connect the two, providing quality information and ensuring fast deliveries.
LifeBank hopes to create a more robust healthcare system by strengthening the supply chain engine across Africa. With its expansion to Kenya, it will continue to save more lives by delivering medical supplies to reduce preventable deaths.
– Addison Franklin