Jennie Nwokoye and Clafiya: Revolutionizing Healthcare in Africa

the sun rises over the bustling streets of Lagos, Jennie Nwokoye’s vision for accessible healthcare takes shape. She is the driving force behind Clafiya, a groundbreaking healthtech startup that aims to bridge the gap between patients and primary care services in Nigeria. Jennie’s journey began in the United States, where she witnessed firsthand the inefficiencies of the healthcare system. The near-loss of her sibling due to these inefficiencies left an indelible mark on her. Even after returning to Nigeria in 2016, the echoes of that experience persisted. Despite economic disparities, both countries faced similar foundational issues in their healthcare systems.

Nigeria’s primary health care (PHC) centers serve as the backbone of the healthcare system. However, they suffer from chronic understaffing and inadequate funding. With 30,000 centers across the country and only 24,000 medical doctors available, the ratio falls far short of the World Health Organization’s recommendation of one doctor per 600 patients. Nurses often bear the burden, supporting up to two doctors who rotate between different PHCs. Yet, hiring more nurses remains sluggish.

Jennie founded Clafiya in 2021 with a clear mission: increase access to primary health care services. Her solution? Empower locally-based nurses, predominantly women, to provide in-home care for patients. These nurses live within the community, fostering familiarity and trust. Patients can now receive personalized care in the comfort of their homes.

Locating Healthcare Providers: Clafiya uses Google Maps Platform technology to help patients find their nearest healthcare providers. Whether through USSD codes or the Clafiya web app, patients can register and schedule in-person consultations with nurses and community health care officers. Nurses, already trained in PHC services, now have meaningful employment opportunities. Clafiya’s platform matches them with patients, ensuring better service delivery.

Clafiya plans to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for faster client matching and improved diagnostics. By recording symptoms and diagnoses on the platform, they aim to enhance patient care. Clafiya generates revenue through various channels: B2C Subscription Plans: Direct subscriptions from individual patients; B2B2C Subscriptions: Partnerships with SMEs to offer healthcare benefits to employees; HMO and Hospital Partnerships: Collaborations with health maintenance organizations and hospitals; School Programs: Recently, Clafiya expanded its services to schools.

Jennie’s vision extends beyond Nigeria. She envisions a continent where healthcare is accessible, efficient, and patient-centric. Clafiya is her vehicle for change, and she continues to drive it forward, one nurse visit at a time. In the heart of Lagos, Clafiya’s impact ripples through communities, transforming lives. Jennie Nwokoye’s legacy is not just about technology; it’s about compassion, empowerment, and a healthier Africa.