Nigerian Entrepreneur and CEO of Greymate Care, Chika Madubuko is changing the game in Geriatrics through the use of technology to connect the at-home elderly people to trained care-givers in Nigeria.
The global digital health market is growing by leaps and bounds and billions, and Chika Madubuko, the CEO and Founder of Greymate Care, is wanting to make the most of it whilst creating impact. With money not the only objective, it was the opportunity to serve those who needed quality healthcare the most that guided her.
Born in the northern region of Nigeria, Madubuko attended the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State, where she studied microbiology, before progressing to biotechnology and bioengineering at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom (UK).
“All I wanted to do at the time is solve problems with bio-tech, with everyday biological systems, creating drugs and industrial solutions,” says Madubuko in an interview with ForbesAfrica.
After graduating, the third-born child in a family of five children, decided to take a leaf out of her entrepreneurial parents’ handbook and venture into business development and sales in the UK before relocating to Nigeria to continue as a business development manager at Novus Agro, a multisided platform that organizes smallholder farmers into accessible groups for all those who want to transact with them.
By that stage, Madubuko had already caught the entrepreneurial bug and was looking for new direction.
“When I was about to leave the UK, I toyed with the idea of creating a homecare startup and I was a certified care-giver but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. Given my success in business development, I decided to give it a try and some people told me this was a real problem Nigerians were facing.”
The cultural norm in Nigeria is that when a loved one is sick, other members of the family take care of the person. Traditionally, this role was reserved for wives or mothers who stayed at home. However, with the significant gender shift in recent years and more women employed or entrepreneurial and no longer staying at home 24×7, this has led to challenges for the elderly who need round-the-clock home care.
This is where Greymate Care comes in. Born out of the personal pain Madubuko faced when looking for a care-giver for her grandmother in the village, she based her service offering around providing trained professionals to care for vulnerable elderly family members.
“Greymate Care is an online platform that connects the elderly to vetted care-givers right [in] the comfort of their homes… In Nigeria, there is no database where you can simply go and find a care-giver or someone who has been trained and background-checked.
Greymate Care solves that problem by training people who want to become care givers and making sure they have guarantors and they are available to be deployed to your home. We reduce the turnaround time of finding a care-giver from about two months to let’s say an hour or maximum 48 hours.”
Each care-giver on the platform has to provide two references who act as guarantors for the individual and those references have to be in senior positions in credible organizations to qualify. That extra check has made Greymate Care a trusted provider in Nigeria, says Madubuko.
A recent article by Deloitte estimates that sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to become the fastest-growing region in the world in the area of e-health.
The proliferation of these services is mainly driven by rapid adaptation of mobile technology as well as the internet.
Deloitte estimates the mobile penetration rate for the continent is close to exceeding 80% with a large number of the population utilizing mobile phones for not only communication but also integrating business services.
Greymate Care is hoping to tap into this growing trend to provide access to health information and curb the shortage of good healthcare professionals especially in remote areas.
For Madubuko, a major impetus for her new healthcare company is to provide employment through working with global agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme to train youth to become care-givers, an initiative that has created over 1,000 jobs on the e-health platform thus far.