Most residents of Mukuru, an informal settlement in Embakasi sub-county, are casual laborers with irregular and low income levels, paid on weekly basis. They are unable to raise the required fees in whole to pay for delivery services or for ANC attendance.
M-Afya is a mobile technology project that will enable parents to save for MNH services a little at a time through a flexible payment model. The women and their partners make advance payments, starting in early pregnancy, and throughout the pregnancy untill delivery. The approach will provide people in low income settings the opportunity to save weekly wages to raise delivery fees and have access to vital ANC services through eleven private health facilities in locations where the public sector facilities are limited.
The system will use the Lipa na Mpesa platform linked to a specialized database with capacity to manage and track individual client accounts. Through M-Afya, the soon-to-be parents will also receive health information, as well as reminders of their ANC appointments, and payment due dates. Experienced health care workers will manage educative/interactive forums on social network platforms to mobilize women, respond to concerns and disseminate messages on MNH.
The capacity of participating health facilities will be built to handle emergency obstetric services and adequately respond to the expected increased demand for services. The project will work with Community Health Volunteers to mobilize for early detection of pregnancies, sensitization and subsequent enrolment of the women. They will offer health education and assist pregnant women to develop birth-plans, choose a health facility, attend clinics, and ultimately utilize skilled deliveries.
Malteser will work closely with the Embakasi sub-county health management team, Community Health Volunteers, the private health facilities, and the Mpesa team to implement the project.