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Cameroonian health startup – Waspito – raises $2.5M to expand access to health services

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Cameroonian digital health startup, Waspito, has secured $2.5 million in new seed funding to continue its expansion across Africa. The startup aims to make quality healthcare more accessible through its video consultation platform and innovative hybrid care model.

Waspito was founded in early 2020, and it allows patients to instantly connect with doctors listed as currently available, via video calls. This immediacy differs from many telemedicine platforms requiring appointments. The startup also provide its users with anonymized disease support groups, as well as access lab tests and medication delivery through Waspito’s partnerships.

“Going online to book an appointment for later doesn’t really ring a bell when somebody is really seriously sick or someone that needs a doctor right away. This is why we do instant video consultations,” founder, Jean Lobe, said.

Waspito’s most recent funding came from investors including DP World, Newtown Partners, Saviu Ventures, AAIC Investment, Axian Ventures, and CFAO’s Health54. The $2.5 million seed extension builds on previous backing to spur expansion in target countries.

Since launch, Waspito has recorded impressive engagement metrics that highlight the pressing need for improved healthcare access. To date, the platform has attracted over 650,000 registered users primarily in Cameroon and Ivory Coast. It has also onboarded nearly 1,000 verified physicians and coordinated 60,000 remote video consultations.

“We have partnered with hospitals in a way that after consultation on Waspito, care continues in the nearest hospital without the need for additional consultation payments or registration. We have connected with all these stakeholders because, overall, we want to connect the healthcare ecosystem online and be a one-stop shop for all healthcare services,” said Lobe.

Founder Jean Lobe stresses that persistent doctor availability drives usage and quality care. He states that with under 2 physicians per 10,000 people in Waspito’s markets, the platform’s approach bridges significant patient-doctor gaps. Incentives for longer doctor hours and insurance integration underpin the model.

After conquering the frontier in Cameroon and Ivory Coast, Waspito now sets sights on Senegal and Gabon using the innovative hybrid care method it employed in Ivory Coast. This initiative involves establishing mini-health clinics inside branches of La Poste national postal service. On-site nurses help offline patients access Waspito’s doctor consultations and ancillary health services through telemedicine kiosks.

“Healthcare is actually for everybody and that means we have to reach out to everybody. These mini-clinics, we think, are the best way to connect with the underserved populations,” said Lobe.

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Lobe views this community-based hybrid model as vital for delivering care to Africans still facing internet and smartphone accessibility challenges. It promises a major step toward Waspito’s goal of creating a comprehensive, one-stop healthcare platform with online and offline reach.

Early success and continued digital health sector investment have fueled Waspito’s expansion. Through accessible, instant consultations and creative hybrid options, the startup moves closer to its vision of making quality care available for all.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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