Nigerian maternal and infant mortality social health-tech startup, HelpMum has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation to support its deployment of an AI-Driven Vaccine Intervention Optimiser – ADVISER, in Nigeria.
HelpMum is the first Nigerian startup to receive the grant so far. The Mcgovern Foundation has awarded $330 million in grants since its inception.
ADVISER is designed to optimise the process of vaccine allocation in order to improve Nigeria’s immunisation coverage rate. The project is based on an integer linear program that seeks to maximize the cumulative probability of successful vaccination.
According to CEO, Dr Abiodun Adereni, the $250,000 grant will help HelpMum successfully deploy ADVISER in monitoring rural and urban vaccination projects across Nigeria as well as will enable it to scale up its goal of improving maternal and infant health across Africa.
In a phone call conversation with Technext, Abiodun also said that the AI solution would be incorporated into HelpMum’s existing Vaccination tracking tool so as to improve immunisation outcomes and ensure more nursing mothers can present their children for immunisation.
This grant is not the first for Helpmum.
The company was announced as one of the only African among four global winners of the 2021 Waislitz Global Citizen Award. HelpMum was selected as the winner of the Waislitz Global Citizen COVID – 19 Response award and went on to receive 50,000 dollars as part of winning the award.
Also, HelpMum was one of the winners of the Google Impact Challenge in 2018 which saw the enterprise get a $250,000 prize.
Recently, the company had its research paper on improving the existing vaccination tracking system in partnership with Vanderbilt University and Google Research India, accepted by the International Joint conference on artificial intelligence organisation (IJCAI) which is the biggest gathering of organisations involved in AI.
A bit more about ADVISER
The AI-Driven Vaccine Intervention Optimiser framework was initially developed through HelpMum’s partnership with Vanderbilt University as part of the Google AI for Social Good program.
The framework, ADVISER is an AI-Driven Vaccination Intervention Optimiser based on an integer linear program that seeks to maximize the cumulative probability of successful vaccination.
This will be the first deployment of an AI-driven vaccination uptake program in Nigeria.
Our optimization formulation is intractable in practice. We present a heuristic approach that enables us to solve the problem for real-world use cases. We also present theoretical bounds for the heuristic method.
He added that the AI solution aims to identify mothers would that have failed to immunize their kids as it will use the data and information provided by these mothers in the registration process to optimize their default tendencies.
About the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is a global philanthropy organisation that is bridging the frontiers of artificial intelligence, data science, and social impact to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all.
The Foundation’s work focuses on bringing together academia, practitioners, and civil society to pursue the potential of AI and data science to address some of the world’s most urgent challenges.
The grant by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is another milestone for HelpMum which has over the years been a recipient of grant funding from players in the health system globally like Facebook, Google, Global Citizen, United Nations Geneva, World Connect USA, International Youth Foundation and David Weekley Foundation etc.