Villgro Africa has granted US$20,000 to Damu-Sasa, a Kenyan Start-up that runs an innovative end-to-end blood services information management platform,
The grant funding from Villgro Africa will enable the company to enhance its contributions to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“Villgro Africa is thrilled to support the work of the Damu-Sasa team, they are a young and vibrant company who are committed to solving this real challenge. Working alongside Innovative Canadians for Change (ICChange), we look forward to being a part of their efforts in managing safe and efficient blood donations in Kenya, and doing so using a sustainable model,” said Rob Beyer, Co-founder and Executive Chair of Villgro Africa.
Damu-Sasa is an innovative end-to-end blood services information management system that supports blood sourcing, inventory management, transfusion management and even haemovigilance. The data it provides enhances decision-making, thereby resulting in effective management of blood services. This in turn leads to reduced costs in the provision of healthcare.
The Damu-Sasa system also helps mobilize donors and tracks their donations, while giving them digital access to their donation history. Damu-Sasa works across the entire blood ecosystem by helping hospitals source blood from donors and from each other, while also supporting screening, preparation of blood products, and inventory and transfusions management.
We look forward to being a part of their efforts in managing safe and efficient blood donations in Kenya.” Rob Beyer
The team works with hospitals and other multi-sectoral partners to increase voluntary donations from across the population, with the goal of delivering a sufficient supply of safe blood while improving tracking and reporting of utilization countrywide.
During 2020, Damu-Sasa has grown its presence from one hospital in one city to 132 hospitals across Kenya. The system has facilitated over 9,000 transfusions and has over 72,000 registered donors on its platform.
The startup now aims to significantly grow this number through increasing its presence in healthcare facilities as well as through a newly-launched Damu-Sasa Android app.
To boost this effort, Damu-Sasa has secured US$20,000 grant funding from Villgro Africa, an early-stage business incubator and impact investor that offers mentoring, funding, and access to networks to startups in the healthcare and life sciences sector.
“At Damu-Sasa, we are really excited with this partnership because it will help us address key concerns occasioned by the pandemic, improve potential blood donor numbers and hence help alleviate, to the degree possible, the perennial blood shortages,” said chairman Dr Matunda Nyanchama.
Villgro Africa is inspiring a new wave of innovative thinking to address deep rooted global health challenges in Africa through market-led solutions. The organization provides seed funding, technical assistance and business development support to global health innovators to take their innovations to the market.
An alumnus of Nairobi Garage, the organization rebranded to Villgro Africa on its 5th annivesary to help expand across the continent as it bids to support more e-health startups.
The company has enabled access to healthcare to those at the bottom of the pyramid, and successfully supported over 20 enterprises with seed funding totaling US$1 million.
Its most recent grants were made in May, and enterprises supported by Villgro have generated revenues of US$2.2 million, touching 2 million lives.
As part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Villgro also funded 11 innovative startups that have made significant contributions to the resilience of Kenya’s health system.
In addition to the grant, Villgro Africa will also offer technical assistance to enable the team to enhance its capacity with respect to COVID-19 blood management-related capabilities while also supporting ongoing fundraising efforts.