Bloom Buddy, a tech start-up initiated by health technology entrepreneur Sola Fatoba, has put Nigeria and Africa in the global autism map. The company has launched the first-ever autism focused teleconsultation service in Africa.
Using cutting edge technology, parents and caregivers in Africa will now be able to connect with experts from around the globe for screenings, diagnosis and treatment of their children This unique platform provides access to autism experts anywhere in the world, removing geographical barriers.
This means that parents and caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) now have access to licensed specialists and board-certified interventionists from the comfort of their homes. Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders for children in the world, with 1 out of 100 children affected globally. According to The World Health Organisation (WHO) over 75 million people in the world have autism.
Autism and children in Nigeria
Many African children with autism are hidden away at home, sometimes tied up, and almost always undiagnosed. Efforts to bring the condition into the open are only just beginning.
Recognizing this and the lack of access to autism specialists for families in both urban and rural areas, Bloom Buddy introduced this autism teleconsultation service to support families for what could be a long and harrowing journey to find intervention and provide a support system for the child.
Sola Fatoba, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Driver of Bloom Buddy said “this offers affordable subscription-based evidence-based trainings modules delivered remotely by trained healthcare specialists to support parents and caregivers in delivering home-based interventions; that’s intervention for families who would otherwise not have access to these resources.
“The app will make global standard autism screening tool readily available through their web app to parents and healthcare providers to help identify early indicators for intervention.”
The company aims to cut down travel and wait time (usually 6 months or more in most countries) for families by providing a portal for parents to get a child assessed in collaboration with specialist remotely to receive quicker diagnoses for their children to begin intervention and improve outcomes.
Better PR for autism in Africa
Awareness of autism in Nigeria is sill dismally low. Sola Fatoba stated: “There is an urgent need for accessible ASD screening, awareness and care in this region. We are now making it easier than ever for families with children living Autism in Africa to get the help they need.
“With this new development, we are one step closer to our goal of making sure that no child with Autism Spectrum Disorder falls through the cracks.
“We are excited to offer our services to the African continent and in the process give autism a greater share of voice, share of mind and better PR.”
The Bloom Buddy web app will be available later this year.