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Kenya

Safaricom unveils ‘mobile wallets’ initiative for healthcare

MPESA-SHOPNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – A new mobile money platform has been launched to help donors disburse money directly to beneficiaries and track its usage.

The ‘M Tiba’ initiative between Safaricom and two healthcare provision organizations – CarePay and PharmAccess Foundation – will enable donors receive real-time access allowing for effective tracking and monitoring the use of funds.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore observed that it will deliver a mobile ‘wallet’ that channels donor funds meant for health services directly to recipients.

“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,” he stated.

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

The 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.

According to the National Health Accounts report, the total health expenditure for the year 2012/2013 was Sh234 billion.

Currently, the donor community is responsible for about 30 percent of all health payments in Kenya and often, donors are not able to track use of the funds that they disburse.

The CarePay Chief Executive Officer Michael Slootweg stated that 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,” he said.

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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 the foundation’s Country Director Millicent Olulo.

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