Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that across the globe more than 800 women die daily from preventable cases related to reproductive health.
African women bear an unacceptably huge burden of disease and death, especially in their reproductive years.
Some of the causative factors include, but not restricted to: inadequate dissemination of information, stigma, poor social support and limited access to healthcare services and facilities.
However, through awareness and provision of access to credible information, women will better understand their bodies, speak up about issues they face, become more proactive than reactive and ultimately live healthy.
One African platform that has been advancing this journey is Massira, a Ghanaian based female-led tech startup and social enterprise.
Founded in 2019 by Samirah Maison, Ada Tapily, Favour Barde and Micael Dié, Massira is a leading female-centered support community that specializes in providing access to credible information on sexual, reproductive and mental health services and is committed to educating, empowering and connecting women to improve health outcomes in Africa.
The tech startup also supports its community by providing a safe space to anonymously share and learn within a supportive community, offering convenient access to products and services while supporting the unreached.
“We foresee that the achievement of the above will translate into women promoting the culture of a healthier lifestyle in units and communities they find themselves and furthermore cause a change in the traditions passed on to the younger generation.”
techbuild.africa had a chat with Favour Barde one of the Co-founders.
Favour explained that the four co-founders came from four different countries while taking independent steps to join the Mest Training Program.
“From personal experiences discussed and further research, we realized that speaking about women’s health is a subject not openly discussed in Africa, coupled with inadequate dissemination of information, limited access to products and services.
“Our team is made up of 75% women, who have first-hand experience with reproductive health conditions. We are passionate about women’s health and improving health outcomes in Africa.”
We envision a society where all women – irrespective of location, social or economic status can access credible health information to take informed decisions, health facilities & services and we are actively working towards its realization.”
Massira’s aim and vision
According to the founders, Massira is taking a holistic approach to accompanying women on a lifelong journey of discovery, healing & health proactivity while staying committed to raising more health awareness and encouraging an open dialogue of taboo topics, so women can make informed and confident health decisions.
Massira is also working to address the state of gender disparity in the healthcare system through the provision of access to information, products and services to support early diagnosis and treatment of preventable reproductive health conditions for women.
In addition, Massira is committed to improving health outcomes for women and girls by supporting the UN SDGs in pursuit of good health, well-being, empowerment and reducing the death rate as well as a high number of women living in pain from preventable sexual and reproductive health conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Massira aims to bridge the existing knowledge gap; de-stigmatize menstrual, mental & sexual health and help reproductive health problems get diagnosed and treated sooner.
“We believe that a support community for women and women’s health enthusiasts is the way to go – A safe space to learn, share and have access to products and services that enable us all to be proactive with our health.”
The founders explained that technology allows Massira to reach its urban target audience in tandem with generating support to reach the rural audience.
“Through the Massira App which is a work in progress, women can create & join discussions about various topics, create and join health events, read curated health articles and stories.
The App ensures anonymity so women can feel free to share their experiences without fear of judgment.
“We also have Sirakare where women can book virtual consultation slots with health practitioners, order for health tests & screenings, and purchase monthly sanitary care packages.”
“25% of profits made on care packages go to support girls in rural communities with sanitary hygiene products”
You can check out the Sirakare here.
Massira is also acting as a social impact enterprise by supporting community growth, providing a safe and caring platform, reaching rural communities through its impact project, building partnerships and raising as much health awareness through social media and events.
Read about Massira’s community impact project here.
On expansion beyond the borders of Ghana, Favour commented, “our vision spans beyond the boundaries of Ghana. In no distant future, our offerings will be accessible in other countries.”
Featured Image: (L-R) Favour Barde; Ada Tapily; Samirah Maison; Micael Dié
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