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New partnership i-PUSH introduces mobile innovations to revolutionize healthcare in Kenya

Amref Health Africa and PharmAccess have joined forces in an innovative partnership called i-PUSH, that was officially launched at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Nairobi at the beginning of March. i-PUSH seems poised to change the healthcare landscape in Kenya. It leverages on the mobile technology revolution in Kenya to directly connect people to healthcare financing, quality and knowledge. The aim is to improve access to better care for half a million Kenyans, with a focus on women and their children.

  • Mar 15, 2017

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO of Amref Health Africa: “African women are potential vehicles for economic growth. Inequality is preventing this and is greatest in health; women are affected far worse than men in many health outcomes. Still today too many women die during childbirth, whilst most of these could have been prevented. Healthier women will have healthier girls who will be the drivers for change for Africa. And that is what the i-PUSH partnership is about.”

i-PUSH is made possible by a generous grant that Amref and PharmAccess were awarded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery in 2016. It marries three existing mobile innovations that each of the organizations have developed and implemented: M-TIBA, Leap and m-Jali.

M-TIBA is a digital platform for inclusive healthcare that directly connects patients, providers, and payers such as family members, health insurers or donor agencies. It enables people to save, send, receive and pay money for medical treatment through a mobile health wallet on their phone in a closed loop with conditional funds that can only be spent on healthcare at selected providers. Since it was introduced in Nairobi last summer, more than 300,000 people have already signed up.

Leap is aimed at building capacity among Community Health Workers (CHWs) using mobile phones. Through mobile learning or m-learning, CHWs are trained on topics such as family planning, mother and child nutrition, and sexual and gender based violence. Leap is also used to train CHWs in M-TIBA and healthcare financing, thereby stimulating the community to save for healthcare and to utilize healthcare services.

m-Jali is an innovative mobile application used to capture data on household level on health indicators to improve efficiency of health reporting at the community level. Timely, accurate, and complete data enables decision-making and appropriate action, which leads to improved health indicators.

Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang, COO PharmAccess Group: “Mobile technologies are changing Kenya at a fast pace in all layers of society. By leveraging on this technology, with i-PUSH we have the opportunity to bring together solutions to establish a paradigm shift in healthcare. This will positively impact millions of women and their families. All the ingredients are in place to make this happen.”

The integration of these innovations gives power – information, data and financing – directly to the people: the user, the community health mobilizer and the doctor. With money, information and data flowing smoothly through a single system, transparency and efficiency will increase. The data can provide useful insights for decision makers. All connected healthcare clinics will be included in a quality improvement program that uses the SafeCare standards.

The test phase recently started in Nairobi, targeting 600 women of reproductive age – including pregnant women and mothers with children. The aim is to stimulate them to save for health by providing a bonus for a saved amount. In addition to savings, in the coming year, the i-PUSH partnership will add benefits specifically tailored to the health needs of women of reproductive age to the wallets. The goal is to reach 100,000 women and their families – roughly translating to half a million people – and connect them to a network of CHWs and quality health facilities.

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Information for the press
For more information please contact Laurens Pels, communications manager PharmAccess Group: Tel: +31 19206238 or via email: l.pels@pharmaccess.org

Amref Health Africa
Amref Health Africa is an international African organization founded and headquartered in Kenya. Amref Health Africa began in 1957 as the Flying Doctors of East Africa to provide critical medical assistance to remote communities in East Africa. Today, Amref Health Africa works with the most vulnerable African communities through its country programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and its Southern and West African regional hubs based in South Africa and Senegal, respectively. Through its laboratory, clinical outreach and training programmes, Amref Health Africa reaches an additional 30 or more countries in Africa. With over 60 years of experience in delivering healthcare and building health systems in Africa, Amref Health Africa supports those at the heart of communities, particularly women and children, to bring about lasting health change. For more information see www.amref.org

PharmAccess Group
The PharmAccess Group is a dynamic international organization with a digital agenda dedicated to connecting more people to better healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. PharmAccess  leverages on the enormous potential of digitalization to revolutionize healthcare in Africa. In Kenya, PharmAccess is currently focusing on developing innovative products and programs for M-TIBA, targeting low- and middle-income groups. In addition, it has developed a range of services for healthcare providers, including quality assessments (using the SafeCare methodology), loan application support (through the Medical Credit Fund) and training modules to help healthcare providers improve their business and clinical performance. PharmAccess works closely with leading local and international partners to increase trust throughout the health system, reduce risks, and pave the way for investments. Their specific approach to development has won prestigious international recognitions, including a G20 prize for innovative financing presented by U.S. President Obama and two Financial Times/IFC awards. For more information see www.pharmaccess.org

M-TIBA
M-TIBA, developed by PharmAccess in partnership with technology companies Safaricom and CarePay, is a digital platform for inclusive healthcare that directly connects patients, providers, and payers such as family members, health insurers or donor agencies. It enables people to save, send, receive and pay money for medical treatment through a mobile health wallet on their phone in a closed loop with conditional funds that can only be spent on healthcare at selected providers. Since it was introduced in Nairobi last summer, more than 300,000 people have already signed up. For more information visit www.m-tiba.com

Leap
Leap is an interactive mobile learning application that provides Community Health Workers (CHWs) with world class healthcare training at the touch of a button. Through a combination of text and audio messages, Leap enables CHWs to access accredited training content using any mobile device, while stimulating them to exchange knowledge with peers. Leap has been developed in public private partnership with Amref Health Africa, Accenture, M-Pesa Foundation, Safaricom, Vodafone (Mezzanine) and the Government of Kenya. For more information visit: www.leaphealthmobile.com.

M-JALI
M-JALI, developed by Amref Health Africa, consists of a mobile application for Community Health Workers, designed to capture community health data at the household level in a more accurate and efficient way. Apart from capturing data, the platform can be used to feed the information back to CHWs in the form of push notifications on their mobile phone. The proven mobile solution also incorporates an interactive referral mechanism.