What does the future of digitally enabled contraceptive care look like in Kenya and Nigeria?
Salient’s research has shown that health tech is on the rise: we now track 1,200 health care start-ups operating on the African continent, 22% of which were founded amidst the COVID-19 crisis.1 By bringing products and services closer to consumers, these start-ups have the potential to transform every area of health – including sexual and reproductive health.
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Salient undertook a landscaping exercise in the summer of 2021 to 1) identify companies offering consumer-facing product distribution, digital counseling or telemedicine in Kenya and Nigeria, 2) assess their offerings and potential for contraceptive care, and 3) provide recommendations on opportunities for engagement in this space.
We found over 100 companies active in Kenya and Nigeria, including a few companies with large platforms who, with deeper attention to contraceptive offerings, appear well-positioned to help expand digitally-enabled access. Most other companies are new with limited offerings for contraceptive care, suggesting that the ecosystem is still nascent.
Moving forward, we see four key opportunities to help build the ecosystem:
- Expanding the range of self-administered contraceptive methods available on product delivery platforms
- Strengthening digital counseling platforms by investing in technology and research
- Building a less exclusionary technology ecosystem by supporting local, female-led innovation
- Creating an enabling environment for technology innovators through advocacy and large-scale investment
To learn more, explore our findings in the full report and look through our innovator directory to discover other start-ups we’re excited about. If you have questions about this work or Salient’s efforts to track health tech innovations across the continent, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.