New mobile health wallet launched in Kenya

Safaricom has partnered with PharmAccess Foundation and CarePay to introduce a new health payment platform that will deepen the ability of citizens to access healthcare.

The ‘M-Tiba’ platform will deliver a mobile ‘health wallet’ that channels donor funds meant for health services directly to recipients – allowing for effective tracking and monitoring of use of funds.

“We are extending the capability of the mobile phone to make a tangible difference in the way healthcare is delivered in Kenya. M-Tiba will allow services to reach previously inaccessible areas to transform the way healthcare is delivered,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO.

The service has been on trial for the last nine months at 44 clinics reaching 10,000 beneficiaries.

According to the National Health Accounts report, the total health expenditure for the year 2012/2013 was Kshs.234 billion. Currently, the donor community is responsible for about 30% of all health payments in Kenya and often, donors are not able to track use of the funds that they disburse.

Using M-Tiba, funds will be placed in specialized health wallets through M-Pesa and their use will be restricted to conditional spending at select healthcare providers who form part of a nationwide M-Tiba network. Donors will receive real-time access to monitor the use of their funds.

“We are happy to partner with Safaricom to provide this new proposition that will create a situation for donors of full transparency on the use of their funds, reaching their target beneficiaries in a direct, efficient and effective way. We hope that we can convince donors to start using our platform,” said Michiel Slootweg, CEO of CarePay.

The Pfizer Foundation is the first donor partner which will use the M-Tiba platform to reach people in the slums in Nairobi. “More such solutions will be developed with public and private partners. In future, M-Tiba can include public and private health insurers as well, offering micro-insurance products though M-Tiba against very low costs to low-and middle-income groups that couldn’t be reached before,” said Millicent Olulo, Country Director for PharmAccess.