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Jacaranda Named Winner of 2021 Amazon Web Services Imagine Grant

Kenya-based non-profit Jacaranda Health has been selected as a winner of the 2021 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Imagine Grant, a public grant opportunity celebrating the innovative use of cloud technology to accelerate impact in local and global communities.

Nairobi, Kenya – One of the most significant drivers of maternal deaths in Kenya (~30%) is that women are not empowered or informed to seek care at the appropriate time. Over the next two years, Jacaranda will work with AWS to rapidly scale its low-cost digital health tool – PROMPTS – to transform the health seeking behaviors of 1.5 million expectant and new mothers across Kenya, and wider sub Saharan Africa.

The AI-enabled SMS platform has already shifted key behaviors related to better health outcomes; women using PROMPTS are 22% more likely to achieve the recommended 4+ prenatal care visits, and 1.6x more likely to take up family planning services.

It does this through a combined approach, sending mothers gestation-stage specific messages with pregnancy and postpartum advice, alongside a two-way helpdesk service which triages and responds to thousands of incoming messages from mums daily in English or Swahili. It also uses machine learning to flag messages for clinical danger signs, allowing helpdesk agents to refer urgent cases for care in minutes.

PROMPTS is built on open-source digital goods and low-cost systems to ensure its adoption and scalability within resource-constrained government health systems. The AWS grant will support Jacaranda’s ambition to sustainably run the platform at national scale, improving health outcomes for 1.5 million women and accounting for 60% of the births in Kenya.

AWS cloud services will increase visibility of how PROMPTS impacts key health indicators like family planning uptake, and improve analytics to offer real-time, responsive data to nurses and health system managers to more effectively respond to systemic weaknesses in care quality in public facilities. Jacaranda’s Head of Technology, Jay Patel, speaks to the impact of this grant.

Thanks to this AWS grant, we’re in a strong position to rapidly scale our locally-developed solutions to transform health outcomes for more mothers and babies, in Kenya and beyond. Strengthening our existing technology is integral to this future growth, and doing this in a way that is both cost-efficient and context-specific, will ensure the sustainability of our programs as a longer-term national resource.’

Jacaranda was named a winner in the Momentum to Modernize category which recognizes foundational technology projects, and will receive up to $30,000 in unrestricted funding, up to $10,000 in AWS Promotional Credits, and project implementation support. Proposals were judged on several factors including the innovative and unique nature of the project, impact on mission-critical goals, and clearly defined outcomes and milestones.

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