In Kenya, a healthtech startup called Chiza Health is seeking to address the significant problem of unemployment among doctors while aiming to transform Africa’s healthcare ecosystem. The country’s healthcare sector faces challenges such as high maternal and child mortality rates, a burden of infectious diseases, and a shortage of healthcare facilities and staff. These issues are compounded by the lack of job opportunities for doctors, leading to frustration and even suicides among qualified medical professionals.
Chiza Health, founded by Dr. Wambui Karingithi, aims to bridge the gap between unemployed medics and understaffed facilities. The startup’s first product, Chiza MedicHub, is a scheduling and staffing solution that connects medics with available locum shifts. Medics can sign up and join the Chiza M.D Bank, where they can highlight their availability for the upcoming month. The platform also offers training and educational resources to continuously improve medics’ knowledge and skills.
On the other hand, medical facilities can access a pool of qualified medics through Chiza MedicHub, allowing them to fill staffing gaps based on experience, availability, and proximity. The platform also enables facilities to internally schedule and shift their staff, bringing efficiency to the staffing and scheduling systems in the healthcare industry.
Dr. Wambui Karingithi, the CEO of Chiza Health, shared her personal experience of struggling to find employment as a doctor and her determination to change the status quo. She emphasized the need to address Africa’s distorted healthcare system, which encompasses poor quality health facilities, unemployment of medics, limited home care services, and inadequate access to quality healthcare.
Despite facing challenges as a young woman, doctor, and tech startup founder with limited business experience and tech skills, Dr. Karingithi persevered. She acknowledged the importance of a strong support system, advice from experienced individuals in the startup world, and having a co-founder who shares the same vision and dreams.
Chiza Health has participated in various accelerator programs, including the Future is Female Mentorship Program and the Health Entrepreneurship African Impact Initiative Pre-Incubation Program. The startup has also been selected to join the Accelerate Africa Program by Future Africa, which has facilitated their progress and led to the initiation of their piloting phase.
The story of Chiza Health highlights the potential for innovative solutions to address unemployment and improve healthcare systems in Africa. By leveraging technology and entrepreneurship, startups like Chiza Health offer hope for transforming the healthcare landscape and providing better opportunities for doctors and patients alike.
As Chiza Health moves forward with its mission, the goal of improving the quality of healthcare in Africa, starting from Kenya, remains at the forefront.