IMPACT
01/21/2015 08:21 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

This Is The Youngest Davos Participant, And He's Helping Save Lives With An App

Age is just a number -- just ask Alain Nteff.

At 22, Nteff -- the youngest participant at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland -- is fighting for moms and their babies in Central Africa.

He's the founder of Gifted Mom -- a mobile health platform that provides a variety of programs to moms and pregnant women, including maternal education, access to family planning and contraception services and information on when and how to vaccinate children safely. His innovation spurred the economic forum to name him a Global Shaper for 2015.

In 2012, the Cameroonian visited a hospital in his home country that had lost 17 babies in just one week. The startling figure prompted him to find solutions.

"I started doing research and talking to health personnel," Nteff said in a video uploaded to YouTube by the Anzisha Prize -- an annual award recognizing African entrepreneurs which he won last year. "I noticed that ... pregnant women and infants are literally dying from preventable causes."

Nteff's home country is in dire need of change regarding the health of mothers and their babies. In Cameroon, 148 infants die per every 1,000 live births, giving it the 18th highest mortality rate for children under 5 years old in the world, according to UNICEF. The organization states Cameroon's maternal mortality rate is also "alarmingly high," at 670 per 100,000 births.

But thanks to Nteff, progress is being made.

There have been more than 500 downloads of his app using locally made phones, according to the Anzisha Prize. Services provided by Gifted Mom have helped boost antenatal attendance (the rate of pregnant women receiving medical attention) by 20 percent in 15 rural communities.

By the end of this year, Nteff hopes to help 50,000 pregnant women and mothers. By 2017, he wants to have helped 5 million.

"My dream is to see an Africa that is well-informed about their medical resources and free of maternal and infant death," Nteff said in the video.

To learn more about Gifted Mom, visit the platform's website.

To take action on pressing global health issues, check out the Global Citizen's widget below.

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