Nigeria’s MDaaS Wins $25k at Harvard Innovation Labs’ Presidential Challenge Final

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MDaaSGlobal, a Nigerian e-health startup, which builds and operates tech-enabled diagnostic centers in Nigeria, has been named among winners of the Presidential Innovation Challenge at Harvard University. As a result, it was rewarded with $25,000.

The startup which plans to open 4 new  centres across emerged one of the winners in the Social Impact or Cultural Enterprise Track.

In Nigeria and Africa, there is a significant number of clinically under-served locales whose inhabitants prefer self -diagnosis and self medication to visiting diagnostic centres for proper diagnosis. This is perhaps due to the fact that they cannot afford it or they do not have a centre in their community.

Furthermore, wrong diagnosis has led to untimely deaths of many Nigerians.

In a news report in the Punch, a medical expert and visiting professor of Pharmacology, Nagasaki University, Japan, Prof. Omotuyi Olaposi, blamed the rising mortality rate in Nigerian hospitals on wrong diagnosis.

He said: “If the total number of people visiting the hospitals in Nigeria annually is 100, I think 30 per cent of the cases are due to wrong diagnosis, wrong treatment or wrong drugs. And most of the diagnoses are compounded by lack of appropriate equipment while some engage in trial by error.”

These are some of the problems MDaas is tackling in Nigeria and arguably some of the reasons it was among the winners.

The President’s Innovation Challenge brings the Harvard community together to engage with pressing issues and explore how to turn their ideas into ventures with real-life impact.

This year, it attracted more than 400 applications from 12 Harvard Schools. Teams competed across four tracks — Social Impact or Cultural Enterprise; Health and Life Science; “Open,” for ideas that transcend categories.

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In her remarks, Jodi Goldstein, executive director of the Harvard Innovation Labs, talked about the importance of bringing together the Harvard community to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

“Our vision has been to create a community where no matter where you are on your journey, you will be welcomed,” Goldstein said. “For us, it’s not just about supporting innovative ideas, but about supporting the people behind those ideas.”


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