Mobile Health Smiles Wallets
Gilead supported an initiative of Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation and PharmAccess Foundation that provided free health services to patients living in Nairobi’s slums through use of M-TIBA, a mobile health wallet, and service provision at Gertrude’s Hospital clinics.
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The platform, first and foremost, aims to make healthcare accessible to individuals who have been invisible in the healthcare system.
In the long-term, the platform’s use of technology and digital health records aims to allow providers to better serve their patients, and provides public health officials with a greater understanding of the needs of the region’s under-served communities.
In Kenya, many individuals lack access to basic healthcare and are often uninsured, particularly in rural areas. This makes healthcare costs largely out-of-pocket. As a result, many individuals may not use the healthcare system and therefore are considered “invisible” – without seeking care, individuals may lack healthcare records completely. At the same time, mobile phone usage has continued to rise, providing a potential means to reach under-served communities.
Through grant funding, Gilead has been supporting the Smiles mobile health wallet initiative launched by Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation and PharmAccess Foundation in 2016 to enable Kenya’s most vulnerable people – those living in the slums of Nairobi – to access essential healthcare for free. The program facilitates payment for services at Gertrude Hospital’s private outreach clinics through M-TIBA, a mobile health wallet developed by PharmAccess.
The wallet allows users to make healthcare payments directly from their cell phone and allows healthcare providers to capture the medical data related to every patient visit. These funds can only be used for specific healthcare-related costs, to reduce out-of-pocket costs and encourage use of the healthcare system. In addition, participants can access free healthcare at three private outreach clinics, one mobile outreach clinic of Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital and three referral hospitals. The health services offered under the program include general outpatient care, HIV care and treatment, tuberculosis treatment, a well baby clinic for children under five years-old, ante-natal and delivery services for expectant mothers and treatment of hepatitis B and C infection.
Gilead supports HIV, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, malaria and maternal, newborn and childcare while Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation finances primary care services. In July 2018, oversight of the program transitioned to Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation. Patients can continue receiving care at Gertrude clinics with a small co-payment.
Results and milestones
The original goal of the Gilead-supported program was to reach 50,000 people with health wallets. It has now reached over 71,000 people, resulting in nearly 118,000 healthcare visits, mainly by vulnerable women and children.
- Infectious and Parasitic Disease
- People with low incomes
SGDs the partnership contributes to
- 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
- 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
Infectious and Parasitic Disease
- Hepatitis B
- General Health