How 9 Nigerian Teenagers Are Changing the Healthcare System in Nigeria

Interswitch |
October 21, 2019

The only thing better than a success story is a success story in the making. That’s the feeling I got when I spent some time with Team Neptune, made up of the nine Nigerian teenagers who won InterswitchSPAK’s inaugural “Innovation Challenge.”

InterswitchSPAK 1.0 Innovation challenge is just one segment of InterswitchSPAK’s National Science competition, organised by Interswitch Foundation.  

A while ago, they were just nine students; now, they are nine students creating a solution that could change Nigeria’s health system forever. I know what you’re thinking; how did they get there? Let me take you on a journey that begins with — like everything in school — a written test.

  • Students from all over the country competed in InterswitchSPAK National qualifying examination.
  • Finalists were grouped into nine groups of nine students each. The groups were named after some of the known planetary bodies.

Their task was not a simple one. They were asked to find a solution to any notable socio-economic issues in health care, public transportation and education, taking advantage of technology. Each team had some help from staff of Interswitch who volunteered as mentors.

  • Team Neptune, made up of nine SS2 students, tutored by Interswitch’s Princess Edo-Osagie, Inalegwu Alogwu and Abiodun Adebisi, won the challenge.

Their innovative solution permits anyone who’s registered on the NHIS to consult doctors via the internet, or USSD (for those without internet access). Like the superheroes that they are, the students also dreamed up a system that allows the patients, after consulting ‘internet doctors’, to get drugs from partner pharmacies using the doctor’s prescription.

Sweet, right?

According to the judges, Team Neptune ticked all the right boxes.

The two major criteria in choosing the winners were ideas and presentation. 

  • The jury considered the use of technology, what opportunities were explored, whether the idea was possible and how much change it would bring. 
  • For the presentation, the jury considered the delivery, creativity and demonstration of teamwork. 

Team Neptune worked for it and they got it. They won the founder’s prize. Since then, they’ve been lowkey working, with help from Interswitch.

Interswitch is keen on making Team Neptune’s solution a reality. Here’s what they did; the students were brought into the company and tutored for weeks by no other than the Interswitch head of innovation, Eghosa Ojo.

In those few weeks, they’ve built their health solution into a business, while also learning invaluable teamwork, strategy and planning skills.

According to Israel, who is Team Neptune’s de-facto CEO, the entire experience was great. He said, “I think the most important thing we’ve learned here is how to work as a team, how to combine ideas and approaches to create something strong and valuable. We’ve also had the privilege of being tutored by someone who has years of experience and is very patient and willing to pass on knowledge”

Team Neptune has now presented their business to the senior management team at Interswitch, and we can’t wait to see how far this goes.

Keep your fingers crossed. If anyone tells you how your health insurance package now lets you consult a doctor via the internet and buy prescribed drugs, you know who made it happen. Nine Nigerian teenagers will have made that happen and we have Interswitch to thank for it. 

Sponsored by
Interswitch

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 16, 2019

If you check the dictionary for the meaning of ‘stress‘, you might not see the word Lagos, but anyone who has spent more than an hour inside this particular state, knows that the only description that should be there is ‘Lagos’. Traffic o, expenses o, trailers o, even the sun in Lagos has plans to […]

May 5, 2021

In this article, we gave you a little background information on Airtel’s “The Rainmaker” teaser and what we think it could be hinting at – a TV series, or another mind-blowing advert. Well, we’re back with more gist on that. Asides being a period piece and starring Nollywood veteran, Jide Kosoko, here are other things […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

More from Creators

Zikoko - Fill in the black
September 11, 2020

Blackness is an identity that black people all over the world sometimes struggle with. The irony, however, is that even though we all share this identity, we experience it differently because of the countries we live in. Spurred by the many different experiences she has lived through as a black person in Nigeria, the UK, […]

Zikoko - Panaramic
September 7, 2020

You have probably heard of Queen Amina, but you may not know her story as much as you know about Wonder Woman, Black Widow, or even Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. And that’s a pity because Queen Amina was right there at the conference meeting when the guide for “Badass Female Hero” was written. […]

October 21, 2019

The only thing better than a success story is a success story in the making. That’s the feeling I got when I spent some time with Team Neptune, made up of the nine Nigerian teenagers who won InterswitchSPAK’s inaugural “Innovation Challenge.” InterswitchSPAK 1.0 Innovation challenge is just one segment of InterswitchSPAK’s National Science competition, organised […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X