OpenIDEO Thank you for the questions. Below is our response. - Tell us how you will distribute these kits. Will they be distributed to birthing attendants, the pregnant women, or other users?
To achieve our mission, Neo-Kit initiative operates on a hybrid business model that connects women no matter where they may be with products designed to meet their needs. We aim to set up supply chains for low-cost manufacturing to keep prices to consumers low and for the internally displaced persons in the northeastern Nigeria, we aim to subsidize the production of the kits in partnership with the OpenIdeo support. we will distribute products through the existing infrastructure of mobile clinics, TBAs and other partners within the various camps on our maps and also set up a tracking mechanism to ensure that the products gets to the target audience. We aim to use these channels as a core distribution mechanism to reach the remotest possible camps across the Northeastern part of Nigeria.
Is there an associated teaching component? Are there different teaching plans depending on who you give the kit to?
For the first time, we are bringing in a feature mobile phone as one of the components of the delivery kits. We feel this is important in other to share effective information with the mothers who would benefit from the initiative. We discovered that there is a need for basic amenities required to ensure clean, safe and comfortable experience in childbirth. Health care providers especially TBAs in these low resource settings face significant challenges in delivering adequate maternal and neonatal health care: our innovation to provide Neo Kit and integrated with mobile messaging education, will address these barriers to proper care while promoting positive behavior change among health care providers and mothers. The Safe Pregnancy and Birth Messaging program, in the hands of women will become a tool for health and empowerment, offering clear, practical information and valuing the knowledge both women already have. As we continue to test and improve the messaging platform, we will work with other mHealth groups to advocate for applying this sort of people-centered approach to developing technology for health.
- We want to know more about the viability of your kits. Do you have plans regarding cost to these kits and who will be purchasing these kits? Is it the pregnant women or another group? How will the costs associated local production affect the viability of your plan?
The kit would come in two different packaging: 1. The one with mobile phone in it would cost approximately $7 for those without a mobile phone, while the other one without a mobile phone in it would cost $2 approximately. We wanted to give users a choice in this scenario. 2. The Neo kit is aimed at low income women, rural clinics, hospitals, primary health care centers and midwives to deliver babies for postnatal health. Our plan is to work with several partners including for profit and non-profit entities to subsidies these kits for our target audience. We are also working to secure partnerships on both the cost and revenue side, including health equipment providers tie-ins with microinsurance programs to reduce out of pocket costs for women who cannot afford the cost of the kits, work with local programmers and mobile banking platform to develop options for flexible billing, payment in installments to correspond with women's irregular income in these settings. We will also be working with micro-insurance agencies and the National Health Insurance Fund to defray out of pocket costs for women.
- Will you be integrating these kits into the existing health services structure?
We aim to integrate the kit into the Nigerian health system as much as possible. The Kits are produced in Nigeria working together with local manufacturers to reduce production cost. To spread quickly, the kits will be sold to selected agents (women) across Nigeria who will act as our distributors and sell to birth homes, hospitals, pharmacies and other health organizations. From the sales of the kits, our agents will be able to make an income, support their family, send their children to school or even start a small business. Main strategies going forward include setting up storage facilities across several parts of Nigeria to increase the reach and accessibility of our product. Also, due to the fact that most of the problems of Africa are identical and our solution is replicable, we will be working with interested organizations and individuals seeking a franchise from us to set up in their own country.
Hi Ashley. Thank you for the question. The mode of kit distribution would vary with funding and participating partners involved in the initiative. For instance, Almonsour women foundation funded and subsidized 100% the kits distributed during our pilot program. Initially, the plan was to cost-share the kit with patients but local government opted for a free service. There were some suggestions that the kits should be given free only to the most -needy expectant mothers, and sold to others. This however posed some challenges: Firstly, it was not possible to arrive at any clear-cut criteria on how to determine the most needy countrywide. Secondly, even the most needy would still be asked to part with some payments for the kits by some devious health workers. Given the challenges above the local government decided to provide the kit free. However, for the future, we will be working with the ministry of health to take up the distribution of the kits to the various camps and may even integrate them into the essential drug distribution system. We will also work closely with other well known NGOs to strengthen the distribution of the kits. We also hope to work directly with trained TBAs on camp to effectively utilize the kits for the benefit of our target audience. This way we believe we can reduce some of the logistical problems.
Many thanks Stephan..From my research RCL are closing down basically because the government has failed to tighten import controls on frozen chicken. Here is a quote from RCL Managing Director “the government was doing nothing to tighten import controls on frozen chicken, and the EU and Brazil, especially, were capitalising on this with large-scale dumping. European countries consumed mainly “white portions” (the breast), which they deemed to be the best cut. The “brown portions” (the thighs and drumsticks) were then sold off at cut price - finding their way to developing world markets such as South Africa, where they were sold cheaper than what was locally produced.“Our company’s troubles could end and jobs saved overnight if the government placed tighter regulations on imports,”
In our own case, the Nigerian government has put a total stop to the importation of frozen foods in Nigeria. At the moment, the annual domestic demand for poultry is 1.5 million metric tonnes, but Nigeria currently produces 300,000 metric tonnes. We need more farmers to come up and balance the 1.2 million metric tonnes remaining. This is a hug opportunity for our program. At the moment, there might be a roadblock around partnering or working with RCL since they are based in southern Africa. However, we might as well learn some strategies from them. Thank you for the great suggestion.