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Sanofi partnership to make healthcare for NCDs more accessible

Dr Eva Njenga Chair NCD Alliance during the launch of ‘Ngao ya Afya”

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 6 – Global bio-pharmaceutical company Sanofi has partnered with PharmAccess, CarePay to enable Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) patients access affordable and quality care via their mobile phones.

The new partnership dubbed ‘Ngao Ya Afya’ – Shield for Health – aims to facilitate access to better diabetes and hypertension care in Kenya through a low cost, mobile technology enabled model.

The partnership is committed to advancing patient access to care and testing solutions to support government and private players address healthcare affordability and financing challenges. This program aims to use mobile technology to show how access to diabetes and hypertension care for individuals and their families across some of the most deprived regions can be increased.

Jon Fairest, Head of Sanofi in Africa, said, “Non-communicable diseases are a growing burden in Kenya and in Africa. To be able to address this situation we need to create an ecosystem of partnership and develop an innovative and sustainable care model for the sake of patients. ‘Ngao Ya Afya’ is a good example of collaboration using mobile phones to provide services for patients. We look forward to engaging with government, private players and other stakeholders to make ‘Ngao Ya Afya’ sustainable in Kenya.”

NCDs are the leading cause of death globally, killing 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths. NCDs account for 27% of the total deaths and over 50% of total hospital admissions in Kenya. The highest risks of dying from NCDs are in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) – especially in sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for with 85% of the deaths occurring in LMICs. Worldwide these countries are struggling to scale up NCD response due to lack of funding, staff and infrastructure.

Kees Van Lede, CEO, Carepay says, “You can see the devastating effect of NCDs on many families in Kenya, as care drains scarce resources and impacts on the future prospects of the whole family. M-TIBA enables direct targeting of groups that need support. The insights into healthcare usage and the quality of delivery are critical for designing effective and long-lasting solutions.”

At the core of ‘Ngao Ya Afya’ is M-TIBA, a health finance platform, integrating payments and transforming health schemes to drive healthcare inclusion. Funds on M-TIBA are specifically dedicated for healthcare and can only be used to pay for selected health schemes and services at accredited healthcare facilities. CarePay is the developer and administrator of M-TIBA, it helps insurers, donors and governments run large scale health schemes, distributing benefits efficiently and transparently. It is the developer and administrator of M-TIBA.

Over one million Kenyans have registered on M-TIBA through a range of healthcare insurance, savings and donor-funded programs. The rapid growth of M-TIBA in under 2 years is unprecedented in the African healthcare landscape. This program aims to use the platform to scale-up access to NCDs care for individuals and their families – particularly among vulnerable families. The partners have designed a comprehensive service and finance package for diabetes and hypertension care that will be tested as a pilot in Kenya.

It will roll out in three health facilities that are part of the M-TIBA network – reaching around 500 diabetes and hypertension patients and running until the end of 2019. M-TIBA will provide security and transparency for transactions conducted under the program. The doctors as well as other partners will have continuous insight into how the funds are being spent and on what kinds of care. These insights will be used to improve access, efficiency and quality in diabetes and hypertension care.

Commenting on the announcement, Isaiah Okoth, PharmAccess Kenya Country Director said, “Mobile solutions are crucial for scale up of NCD care in Kenya and low-middle income countries generally. With this project, we hope to develop scalable, low cost quality service that that gives people in need access to care and empowers patients to take charge of their health.”

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Founded in 2001, PharmAccess is an international NGO that works on improving healthcare markets so that they can deliver for everyone. This means mobilizing private and public resources, measuring and improving quality of services, and reaching even the most excluded people with financing options to pay for care.


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