LVCT Health

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Jul 2020

LVCT Health- Awarded Place in Inaugural Cohort of Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator

Nairobi (July 8, 2020) – Today Duke University and UNICEF announced that LVCT Health has been awarded a spot in the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator (DUIA), which aims to support social enterprises tackling the most pressing challenges facing children and youth around the world.

Six social enterprises joined the Innovation Accelerator earlier in the year to develop and scale innovations that are addressing menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) in East Africa and beyond. LVCT Health joins in partnership with Oky, a previously accepted innovation. The innovators in the inaugural cohort represent a variety of solutions – which range from digital apps, to reusable and disposable pads, to community health models – all aim to strengthen menstrual health, hygiene, and management while tackling pervasive cultural taboos and educational barriers surrounding menstruation.

As adolescent girls enter puberty and begin to menstruate, many face challenges at school and at home that can lead to stress, shame, embarrassment, confusion, and fear. These challenges may include a lack of knowledge about menstruation, insufficient access to menstrual hygiene materials, and inadequate WASH facilities for girls so they can change in a private space and discreetly dispose of used menstrual materials. By emphasizing local solutions and putting girls at the fore, the Innovation Accelerator cohort will collectively bring much-needed MHH solutions to girls and in turn, help empower the next generation of women to be healthy, happy, and educated.

“I am happy and delighted to be chosen by the Duke Innovation Accelerator program” said Robert Kimathi- AYP technical lead of LVCT Health

Through the Innovation Accelerator’s two-year program, the entrepreneurs have access to a multitude of resources, including UNICEF subject matter experts, mentorship opportunities, Duke University faculty and students, monthly capacity building webinars, and a week-long virtual residency hosted by Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (I&E).

Notes to Editors

· The inaugural cohort includes six social enterprises from East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi, and one project is from UNICEF’s East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office. More than half of the innovators (6 out of 8) are women with degrees at either the bachelor’s or master’s levels. Learn more about the cohort here.

· Each member of the cohort receives a suite of general and customized services to help them implement, assess, and refine their innovations, and to design and pursue financially viable, ecosystem-sensitive strategies to scale their impact.

· Through a customized capacity-building plan established for each innovation, the Innovation Accelerator engages selected teams in a disciplined approach to test and iterate their innovations, design effective business models, leverage their ecosystems and attract sufficient resources to develop and implement scaling strategies.

To learn more about the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator, visit www.dukeunicef.org

About LVCT Health is a national indigenous Kenyan non-government not-for-profit organization registered in 2001 with a national and regional reach. We envision “empowered healthy societies” with a mission “to use research, capacity improvement and policy reforms action for equitable HIV, sexual and reproductive

health services to reach the most vulnerable”. Our target population are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society including; adolescents and young people, adolescent girls & young women (AGYW), key populations, survivors of violence, persons living with disabilities, and people living with HIV. Our work is hinged on three pillars; generating evidence and policy action; delivering quality HIV, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care; and investing in communities and systems in Africa. We utilize innovative approaches to localize high impact solutions to address challenges of access and use of HIV and SRH services reaching over 1 million individuals every year. Over the years we have built a strong technical capacity in the development of national policies, programs, curriculums, standards and guidelines in Kenya and beyond.

About Duke University

Younger than most other prestigious U.S. research universities, Duke University consistently ranks among the very best. Its graduate and professional schools — in business, divinity, engineering, the environment, law, medicine, nursing, and public policy — are among the leaders in their fields.

Duke enrolls more than 16,000 students in its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and its world-class faculty is helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.

Situated on nearly 9,000 acres in Durham, North Carolina, Duke is one of the very few schools in the country, or the world, that combines academic and athletic accomplishment at the highest levels.

About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

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