LifeBank, a health start-up that automates and standardize the process of finding and transporting blood from the donors, blood banks and hospitals have indicated an interest to extend their coverage to northern Nigeria with Kaduna and Abuja being the initial target cities.
The founder of LifeBank, Temie Giwa-Tunbosun said “We often have a surplus of blood at blood banks in Lagos and at the same time have a high mortality rate caused by a lack of blood. LifeBank is about finding a smart way to match the demand to supply.”
LifeBank has been operating in Lagos state for the past two years and they have decided to expand their services to Kaduna so as to reduce the mortality that occurs due to blood transfusion problems in Kaduna. Although the company makes the bulk of its profit from delivery charges and by working closely with private partners in the health sector, the company operating in Kaduna would provide better opportunity to work with government systems almost exclusively.
“Launching in northern Nigeria where private health services aren’t as abundant as in Nigeria’s major southern cities will give the business crucial experience in working in a public-sector led market. It’s increasingly clear that to get a significant chunk of the market we have to work with government systems, we want to use Kaduna as a model of what we can do in that market.”
As part of its expansion plans, Giwa-Tubosun says LifeBank will also begin moving other health products that are often in shortage in local hospitals. Using the same model it has used for delivering blood, the start-up plans to start delivering medical oxygen, vaccines and antivenom.
The state of healthcare in Nigeria has been reported to be below standard as there is a lack of proper equipment that are needed and lack of insurance to cover patients to lack of funding in government owned hospitals that leads to frequent doctors’ strikes, LifeBank creates an avenue where important materials such as blood can be delivered to locations where they are needed as fast as possible.