African health systems suffer from a chronic lack of funding. The funds that are available are often fragmented and post-paid. An estimated 40 to 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s total healthcare expenses are out-of-pocket, which leads to large inequities. There are limited risk pooling mechanisms in place to manage individual contributions to healthcare. And, there is limited willingness from individuals or donors to contribute to state-schemes since there is little transparency on how the funds are being spent.

Our activities on health financing aim to reduce these out-of-pockets and move to pre-payments, and the pooling of different funds (e.g. government subsidies, self-payments, remittances, donor funding) into a combined pool. Mobile technology facilitates mobilization and equitable redistribution of funds while reducing costs and providing data to enhance transparency and improve health outcomes. PharmAccess works with local governments and the private sector to develop and optimize these risk pools, enabled by digital technology, and support the momentum of achieving universal health coverage (UHC).

To accelerate the road to UHC PharmAccess works on several interventions including:

Supporting state governments in Nigeria

Lagos State, the most populous state of Nigeria, has a population of 24 million people. PharmAccess supports the state government to achieve UHC by technically assisting the rollout of its mandatory State Health Insurance Scheme. Enabling improvement in the quality of care being delivered and innovations in healthcare delivery. With the use of CarePay’s, a health technology company, mobile health payment platform the enrollment process, administration, and management of the scheme can be efficiently conducted at scale.

Connecting vulnerable populations to healthcare

I-PUSH, a program launched together with Amref Flying Doctors, uses the mobile health platform M-TIBA to target low-income women of reproductive age living in informal settlements in urban areas and subsistence farmers in rural areas. The program connects these women and their families to healthcare financing, quality care, and lifestyle support – directly through their mobile phone. To date over 36,000 women and their families received access to mobile health insurance. I-PUSH aims to strengthen the healthcare system in Kenya and to provide access to affordable, quality healthcare for 65,000 women and their families.

Increasing the transparency on healthcare delivery through data

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) partners with PharmAccess to analyze health data to strengthen its capacity and stimulate its ambition as a data-driven health insurer. Currently, the NHIA active members represent about 50% of Ghana’s population. To help increase the financial sustainability and operational efficiency of the scheme, PharmAccess provides assistance as a technical advisor and with data analyst services and capacity building.