Zambian Healthtech Startup Develops DawaMom To Empower Rural Mothers


Sept. 1, 2021, 11:55 a.m.

In Southern Africa, more than 17 million mothers give birth annually, and more than 10 million of those do not have access to good quality maternal health. Over 830 mothers die daily from preventable pregnancy complications, with 67 percent of those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dawa Health is trying to close the maternal health access gap for women and mothers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Zambian healthtech startup has developed DawaMom as a move to expand into nearby countries to empower rural mothers.

The DawaMom is an easy-to-use platform that is empowering mothers to receive remote maternal healthcare while guiding them through the perinatal period. DawaMom is accessible via web, mobile, SMS, and audio or text chatbot, and provides weekly maternal health support to expectant mothers.

“Through our platform, mothers monitor parameters like gestational blood pressure, gestational blood sugar, urinary tract infections, hemoglobin levels, and ultrasound scans. Our platform works together with a network of community health agents who provide biweekly maternal health support in remote areas. The medical parameters from community health agents are then wired to trained professionals who provide remote insights,” co-founder Tafadzwa Munzwa said.

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Founded in 2018, Dawa Health was initially a medical hardware startup. The heathtech startup prototyped a wearable device to monitor geriatrics (older people) medical parameters to be wirelessly transmitted to doctors for active monitoring.

However, through the BongoHive launch program, it realized that the original concept was not going to be sustainable.

“Coincidentally, my cousin was pregnant, and her experience and the unacceptably high numbers of maternal mortality in the region were the final push to pivot and focus on maternal health,” Munzwa said.

Dawa Health is bootstrapped and makes money directly from patients on the platform and international organizations subsidizing costs for low-income communities.

Dawa Health is currently focused on the Zambian markets with expansion plans to Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Tanzania.


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Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.