African startups are working hard to give the African health sector a different look. Therefore, we can as well say that the health sector is on the positive rise courtesy of rising startups. Startups like drones in Rwanda to Slide Safe in Nigeria are giving us hope in our health sector.
Slide Safe is a Nigerian based startup that launched in 2017. Slide equips Nigerians with sexual health products in a more private way. Furthermore, it makes the buying of the health products to be in a more private way. In most cases, those suffering from sexually transmitted diseases undergo self-stigmatization. Patients do not necessarily need to give their real names when buying. Moreover, the startups delivery model does not need anyways for identification.
However, Slide Safe provides products like contraceptive pills, condoms, and water-based lubricants. They also give self-testing kits for Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and HIV. The idea of having the self-test kits came from HIV self-test studies that took place in Malawi. The test proved that younger population preferred to be self-tested rather. The high number was those who had carried out HIV test once and male. The sale of the kits, followed by pre and post testing counseling takes place on WhatsApp. Moreover, customer guidance is important. This is because it is the first time most of them are participating in this.
The level of public sexual awareness (65%) is still lower than the service usage. Moreover, 10% of Nigerians aged between 15-24 years have used any sexual and reproductive health services product. Furthermore, 10% of them have taken their time to be tested for HIV and only 20% of the population use condoms. The poor numbers are because of the sexually active people who do not see the need for testing. Furthermore, the sexual health workers tend to judge and categorize those who have sex. The society tends to judge female for being immoral than men.
Slide Safe gives cheaper services compared to other platforms. Their level of providing confidence to customer’s data is also high. Slide Safe startup is self-funded but it recently secured $5,000 grand from the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). It also got $5,000 conditional loan from TEF that it will have it in 2018. Most of the Nigerians are low earners. This is a huge challenge to the startup when selling its products. However, the startup is doing better than they thought.
The age group of the startup’s customers is between 18-34 years and this is 60% of the country’s population. Slide Safe started with students from tertiary levels who are their main target. The students are aged between 25-40 years and stay in motels or hotels.