Jacaranda Health, Kenya-based non-profit making organization is among the 15 entities in Africa that benefitted from the $25 million funding from multinational Google.org to promote digital health initiative.
Head of Technology at Jacaranda Health Jay Patel said they received $1.2 million in grant from the funds and additional support from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, to extend lifesaving AI-driven support to underserved mothers across Kenya, and wider Sub Saharan Africa.
In a press release he said the grant signified a major milestone in empowering the organization in touching the lives of more mothers in Kenya through our digital solution PROMPTS to facilitate safe maternal health, while ensuring that all newborns received a secure and healthy start in life.
Patel said the organization’s AI-enabled digital health tool PROMPTS supports new and expectant mothers to access care through free SMS messages that improved rapid provision of health services during and after pregnancy, and rapid, targeted referral for potentially-high risk cases. This project marks Jacaranda’s next big step in AI innovation.
“With Google funding, Jacaranda’s 100% Kenyan technology team will develop and deploy a first-in-kind generative AI model capable of offering context-sensitive information to women in multiple African languages and dialects, and rapidly detecting life-threatening risks before it’s too late.
He said Jacaranda’s ambition was to reach out to at least three million women across Sub Saharan and was keen to create a blueprint for harnessing the full potential of AI for maternal and newborn health support across Africa by leveraging on their open-source model.
“We know gaps in maternal and newborn health could be addressed by AI especially where local teams can cheaply and easily customize to their contexts to achieve maximum impact by ensuring every expectant mother accesses the right information’ he said.
James Manyika, Google’s SVP of Research, Technology & Society said out of many submitted proposals, 15 were selected for funding adding that all of the projects will be open-sourced.
“Each of the 15 selected organizations share our vision for using AI to accelerate progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and each organization brings their own expertise to help move the needle,” he said.
Jacaranda Health is one of 15 organizations receiving support through the $25 million philanthropy challenge for projects that use artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress towards these goals.
Jacaranda Health Google.org’s AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge is part of Google’s company-wide commitment to help accelerate progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
By Wangari Ndirangu