Hospitals and patients need lifesaving blood supplies, each and every day, but finding safe supplies of blood and getting it delivered quickly in the right condition has been a challenge in Nigeria. Today, one entrepreneur is changing that. Temie Giwa-Tubosun, founder and ceo of LifeBank, is getting safe blood supplies delivered to those who need it most using the power of technology.
LoA spoke to the inspirational founder of Lifebank, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, to find out more.
What does your company do?
LifeBank helps hospitals discover blood and other essential medical supplies and we deliver to the hospital in the right condition. We deploy mobile and web technology, smart logistics, and Artificial Intelligence to build an end to end marketplace and cold chain logistics. Our mission is to save 1 million lives in 10 years.
"LifeBank helps anyone in Nigeria who needs blood delivered fast to any hospital in the Nation either for scheduled procedures or emergency transfusions."
What inspired you to start your company?
A few years ago, I learned that the single biggest cause of maternal mortality on the continent and the developing world is something called Post-Partum Hemorrhage. Basically, women give birth and shortly after, they start bleeding. However, if the hospital does not have blood to transfuse to these women, they go into shock and they die. In Nigeria where I was born, it kills over 26,000 young women every year. I am a mother myself and I had a difficult birth experience while giving birth to my son. I was very lucky though to have access to a very good health system in the United States. After this, I decided to move back home to Nigeria and help solve this problem. After I came back home, I knew I needed to have conversations with experts in this sector. So I spent close to a year, taking meetings, having discussions, and learning as much as I can. Through this, I realized that the problem was much larger than I had thought, it affects women of course, but also children under 5 who have malaria, accident victims, cancer patients, kidney dialysis patients, people in car accidents, the problem is so vast that 1 in 3 people entering hospitals will need blood. Also, it wasn't just blood shortage but also lack of communication to know who has the blood type you need, and lack of infrastructure to move the blood to where it is needed on time and in the right condition. Thus, I built LifeBank to solve both problems.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Blood is not wanted it is needed. Our service is an essential service in the healthcare setting. It is true that shortage of blood at the point of care deeply affects the most vulnerable citizens; pregnant women, children, emergency victims, and people suffering from chronic diseases such as sickle cell anemia and or cancer. LifeBank helps anyone in Nigeria who needs blood delivered fast to any hospital in the Nation either for scheduled procedures or emergency transfusions. Our main focus is to help women hemorrhaging during delivery, children with major illnesses that need a blood transfusion, accident victims, cancer, sickle cell anemia and surgery patients, and people in major accidents.
We have 3 main users for our services.
The patient, the blood banks, and the Hospitals. Our innovation will change the patient’s life by ensuring that if and when they need this product, they are able to gain access to it within a short time span. Our delivery service also helps to ensure that the patient’s caregiver can remain with him or her instead of spending time scrambling trying to find the blood the patient needs. Our product helps the patient get better quickly especially with the loved ones remaining around the patient to ensure good health outcomes.
For the Blood Banks, our innovation transforms their businesses. Blood Banks with excellent products and processes will be rated higher on our platform, their products are presented to hundreds of new customers which in turn helps them earn more and invest more in better testing and processes.
For our Hospital clients, we help them save their patients faster, safer, and cheaper. Hospitals will not need to send ambulances and spend staff time just to pick up just a few pints of blood any time a patient needs it. At scale, all hospitals will be confident that LifeBank will get the blood their patient needs quickly.
"My goal for LifeBank is to ensure it can save as many lives as possible for as long as possible. We hope to be in every African city and be able to reach every village and town across the continent, saving lives by moving these essential medical products to hospitals."
Tell us a little about your team
The team builds the company and it is the expertise, resilience, and focus of the team that really makes the difference. There are 7 people working to build LifeBank. As CEO, I bring 12 years of experience in health supply chain and I have worked all over the world; from rural Kano with DFID and to Geneva, Switzerland with the World Health Organization. I bring tremendous expertise and health domain knowledge to this work. My experience in designing, and launching health programs in Africa, combined with my training in international management, and abiding interest in ensuring Africans have the best health system, prepared me for leadership.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I do not come from an entrepreneurial background. I like to think of myself as a reluctant entrepreneur since this wasn't the path I had originally selected for myself. However, I have a conviction that businesses with a social mission will save the world and I set out to prove this with LifeBank. It was this conviction that led to launching LifeBank, and that will ensure its impact on the lives of the African people. Our business model will also ensure that LifeBank is around and continues being impactful 100 years from now.
"I have a conviction that businesses with a social mission will save the world and I set out to prove this with LifeBank."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My goal for LifeBank is to ensure it can save as many lives as possible for as long as possible. We hope to be in every African city and be able to reach every village and town across the continent, saving lives by moving these essential medical products to hospitals.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I am most satisfied when I see an idea we have come alive to help people and make money at the same time. That sweet spot is seriously awesome.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
You are the right person to change the world, so just start.
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Why LoA loves it….
Social entrepreneurs around the world build business models that are inspired by a challenge or a problem that requires an innovative solution. In the case of the powerhouse Temie Giwa-Tubosun, she identified a real need in Nigeria to get lifesaving blood supplies to hospitals and patients when it was most needed. Today, her game-changing company, LifeBank, is harnessing the power of technology to source and deliver essential and safe blood supplies to save patient lives every day. She is an inspiration to so many other would-be social entrepreneurs and an example of how one woman can make a huge difference in the world by thinking big. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa