Shafik Sekitto is a passionate entrepreneur from Uganda. He is the Program Manager of ThinkIT Limited, a software development company in Kampala (Uganda) that delivers health solutions with their main product as Matibabu, a kit for malaria diagnosis to reduce global malaria deaths through revolutionizing diagnosis to be faster, affordable, and accessible especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa where malaria is prevalent.
Shafik has had to deal with Malaria multiple times in his life, which has caused him many problems. Being graduated from the Makerere University in computer sciences and having years of experience in software development, he has decided to make malaria’s diagnosis easier and faster. He is very proud of his work and strongly believes in the positive impact it can have on society.
“The best part about my work is knowing that the venture we are pursuing has the potential to save many lives.”
He decided to enroll in the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship at Tangaza University College of Nairobi (Kenya) to get the right entrepreneurial skills to run his business properly. But let’s discover more on Shafik and Matibabu!
“Matibabu is the first blood-free innovation to diagnose malaria.”
1.How was your Business Idea born?
After suffering several malaria episodes and therefore having to miss lectures at the University, the Matibabu team thought of a different way than malaria diagnosis could be made by applying the skills they obtained from their computer science class.
2.How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities?
Matibabu has reduced the time for a Malaria diagnosis by at least 30%. Being able to make a faster diagnosis brings several benefits both to the patient and the medical worker.
An estimated 5% of children’s lives can be saved thanks to the early diagnosis of childhood fevers and urgent referral for severe cases. Households can save up to 50% of the diagnosis costs and subsequently treatment costs due to timely diagnosis and therefore be able to improve their livelihoods, while doctors can have a faster, more accurate, easy work, resulting in a better work-life balance.
Furthermore, it also contributes to capital formation since it increases medical labor productivity, which ultimately increases the economy’s output and growth.
3.What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience?
The hurdles that come with Research and Development, for example, the regulations and lack of expertise in manufacturing and development. We have tried to overcome this by working with established institutions through networks we have made over time.
“Matibabu was named one of the 50 best inventions of 2018 by TIME Magazine.”
4.In your opinion, what are the main qualities an entrepreneur should have?
Openness to new ideas and learnings. Flexibility, as assumptions we make, is usually unrealistic. Determination to reach your goals, no matter the obstacles.
5.What would you suggest to a new-born entrepreneur?
Always believe in your dreams and do everything you can to make that dream become a reality.
6.Could you tell us how the MBA has helped you and your business?
I think the MBA is an ideal hands-on program for entrepreneurial business development and growth. It has helped me in creating a business model and in discovering its actuality. It has also allowed me to make valuable connections that have helped the business grow from one step to another.
Learn more on Matibabu
Facebook page: @Matibabu8