Kenya: smartphone helps lift maternity fees’ worries
There are only a few public hospitals within the informal settlement of Embakasi in Nairobi County so many pregnant women face private health care bills. A mobile phone and a pre-payments plan can help.
During a pregnancy, women have to pay between 10,000 and 15,000 Kenyan shillings ($100 to $150, 95 to 142 euros) for medical checkups, the delivery and postnatal care when they attend a private health facility. Many of them have no other choice because public hospitals are not available in the area or are often hard to reach.
Even though it doesn’t sound that much, the fees at the private clinics are often too expensive for the women and their families.
“Most of the people are wage earners,” said Caroline Nyongesa, health programme manager for Malteser International. “They have an unpredictable income.”
If they encounter a financial emergency, they use money they should actually be saving for the birth. Many women worry during their pregnancy whether they will have the required amount of money to the pay the fees when the baby arrives.
That is why the relief organisation Malteser International developed a mobile health system called M-Afya. The “M” stands for mobile and “Afya” is Kiswahili for health.READ MORE