HelpMum, Nigeria’s maternal and infant mortality social health-tech startup, has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the United States’ Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. The grant is to support the deployment of an AI-Driven Vaccine Intervention Optimiser – ADVISER, in Nigeria.

The company said the $250,000 grant will enable it to deploy the AI solution to achieve and ensure optimal vaccination of infants across Nigeria and also scale up its goal of improving maternal and infant health across Africa.

The grant also makes HelpMum the first Nigerian startup to receive grant funding and partnership with the Mcgovern Foundation, which has awarded $330 million in grants since its inception.

ADVISER is an AI framework designed to optimize intervention allocation to improve Nigeria’s immunization rates. The vaccination intervention optimizer is based on an integer linear program that seeks to maximize the cumulative probability of successful vaccination.

Speaking on the grant, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HelpMum, Dr. Abiodun Adereni said: “With this funding, we will be able to deploy ADVISER, which will be the first AI-driven vaccination uptake programme in Nigeria. Our optimization formulation is intractable in practice and 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 has the capacity to tell which mothers would default on immunising their kids as it will use the data and information provided by these mothers in the registration process to optimise their default tendencies.

“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,” he added.

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