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On Friday May 13th, Dutch national news aired an item on the M-TIBA mobile health wallet in Kibera, a slum area in Nairobi.

Setting the scene, the item by the Dutch channel RTL4 news, highlights that while Kibera may be lagging behind in many areas, it is miles ahead of the Netherlands when it comes to the infrastructure of mobile payments and the equity provided by the highly accessible M-PESA system. PharmAccess, Vodafone and the M-Pesa Foundation teamed up in 2013 to bring this financial inclusion success story into the field of health.

With the support of the Dutch government, PharmAccess and its partners started working on the development of the mobile health wallet in that same year. The mobile health wallet, called M-TIBA was finally launched in December 2015 by the largest Kenyan telecom provider Safaricom, PharmAccess and Kenyan start-up CarePay. CarePay is the developer and administrator that manages healthcare transactions between funders, patients and healthcare providers.

M-Tiba is a mobile health wallet that people can use to pay, save and receive money or benefits exclusively for healthcare, directly through their mobile phone. This empowers people to take care of their own health. Even the women in the slums that are featured in the RTL item. Healthcare facilities can attract more patients, and the fact that all healthcare transactions are digitized makes facilities safer and helps them to provide better services. Lastly ,donors and governments can offer healthcare vouchers and entitlements directly to specific segments of the Kenyan population.  Currently around 10,000 women and their children in Nairobi make use of M-TIBA and around 2000 healthcare facilities throughout Kenya are connected to M-TIBA.

In January 2016, PharmAccess and Amref Flying Doctors received a large grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to scale up and make money and proper healthcare directly available to 200,000 women and their families through M-TIBA. The partnership combines Amref’s expertise in e-learning, m-learning and their network of community health volunteers, with a incentivized M-TIBA savings program for women and their spouses, data analysis to drive quality, and a quality improvement program for healthcare facilities. As such, it provides information and knowledge on healthcare improvements and financing to patients, doctors, nurses, health workers and donors. Increasing access to better healthcare and bringing transparency and accountability for all stakeholders in the healthcare sector.

Click here to watch the item (in Dutch)