- Year Selected: 2019
- Age at selection: 22
- Venture: Vmedkit
- Country: Nigeria
- Sector: Health
After experiencing and seeing the pitfalls of mental health in Nigeria, Emmanuel Okon founded Vmedkit, to address psychiatric disorders in mentally ill persons. Growing up with a single parent in a low-income family, life was not easy. So, his mission was clear: he had to help relieve the pain he saw in people.
Vmedkit is seeking to solve one of the major causes of death around the world – mental illness – using Virtual Reality technology (VR). They are passionately seeking to democratize access to mental healthcare. Using VR technology, the patient is exposed to the source of their disorder, for example, a war or rape incidence. The rationale for this form of cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy is that exposing the target patient to the target source or context of their condition, combined with relaxation training, will enable them to adapt to the stress.
Vmedkit hopes to give mental wholeness to about 10 million individuals majorly affected by this problem in the next five years. They are focused particularly in Africa due to the invisible but devastating effect that this illness has on an individual’s productive ability.
His passion and inspiration to improve the stigma surrounding mental health in Nigeria made Emmanuel decline an offer to study a master’s in Canada and pursue an entrepreneurial career instead.
His strongest source of motivation is his vision for the future. What drives him is the change he seeks to make in the world.