Maternal care in East Africa remains weak compared to global standards. Out-of-pocket health payments are a major barrier to accessing healthcare, especially for those with lower incomes. With that in mind, the digital platform M-TIBA and health organization PharmAccess have launched ‘Tunza Mama’.
Tunza Mama is a discounted service that empowers women to access care throughout their pregnancy journey. It encourages women to come for antenatal care early in their pregnancy. It also supports them to visit the facility more frequently, by making services cheaper the more times the mother comes for check-ups.
Tunza Mama on M-TIBA
The service runs on the M-TIBA mobile platform and was launched at Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital in Nairobi. Tunza Mama will be scaled to other health providers in Kenya gradually over this year.
‘’Mobile technology has the potential to improve the health outcomes for mothers and their babies’’, says Moses Kuria, Managing Director M-TIBA.
‘’The M-TIBA platform connects facilities and patients and facilitates payments in an efficient manner. In that way, mothers can access the care they need at an affordable cost. Moreover, with Tunza Mama, mothers know upfront what they can expect in terms of costs and services, giving them peace of mind during their pregnancy, as well as after their baby is born’’.
Tunza Mama covers mothers from the first check-up to delivery and immunization until the baby reaches two years of age. With the service, they hope to increase the number of expectant mothers accessing pregnancy care.
‘’Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for around 70% of maternal deaths worldwide. We aim to expand Tunza Mama rapidly to empower women to access affordable and quality care during their pregnancy, without having to forego care due to costs. By using technology, we are able to connect the mother and health professionals for continuous engagement, timely interventions, better patient experiences, and outcomes.’’ Angela Siteyi, Innovations Director at PharmAccess says.
Through PharmAccess, the health facility has access to decision support tools that empower them to monitor, communicate, schedule visits, and personalize the pregnancy experience for each mother.