Frontlines of Health

Akiba ya Roho

Reducing premature morbidity through mobile screening and clinical management

Team Lead

Melissa Menke

Hear the Pitch

The Problem

In Kenya, one quarter of adult deaths are due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), yet with the right care, these deaths are largely preventable. However, receiving this care is challenging, and 9 million Kenyans living in slums are not getting the services they need.

The Solution

To address these issues, Access Afya makes healthcare convenient and affordable for residents of Nairobi's slums through a chain of microclinics, diagnostic centers, and pharmacies.

Through its Akiba ya Roho program, trained community members conduct mass NCD screenings in slums with an intuitive mobile app. The app guides users through a series of simple health questions, and community members take basic measurements like blood sugar and pressure. The app provides a health score, and those with high risk are referred to Access Afya microclinics, where clinical officers provide care and and conduct continuous follow-ups.

At the microclinics, clinical officers are empowered with decision support tools to help recommend the right treatments, the same way a higher cadre worker would. This cuts costs and maintains high standards of care.

Market Opportunity

  • Around 28 percent of Kenya’s urban populations living in slums either don’t seek care when sick or go straight to informal chemists, who lack appropriate tools and training.
  • 80 percent of Access Afya patients with NCDs were previously unaware of their condition, making outreach an important component of clinic customer acquisition.
  • Access Afya clinics experience a 10 percent boost in revenue from diabetes and hypertension management

Organization Highlights

  • Raised $1 million in seed funding in July 2018; has five key investors, a Board of three directors, and an employee stock option pool
  • Entrepreneurship Networks: Cartier Women’s Initiative, GE / GSBI Healthymagination, Village Capital
  • Awards: Highly Commended in the Responsible Business Awards 2018
  • Featured Speaker: Forbes Summit on Philanthropy
  • Media: BBC, Economist, The Guardian, Nesta, Informa

Existing Partnerships

Access Afya works with suppliers, medicine distributors, local architects and contractors, recruiters and referral hospitals to run its model. Strategic partners include:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka: Co-creation and strategic partners through the Making More Health accelerator, and seed funder of the Akiba ya Roho program. Boehringer also provided scale-up funding for the program, which is set to reach 250,000 people in Kenya by the end of 2020.
  • WellTech: Technology development partners
  • PharmAccess: Dutch Foundation providing health financing solutions including mobile savings wallets and vouchers for Access Afya patients

Organization Goals

Access Afya is replicating the effectiveness of its primary care model, and proving economies of scale with growth.

  • Expand market from 9 to 25 locations by the end of 2019 and 55 by the end of 2020
  • Partner with government to ensure universal health coverage in Kenya
  • Serve 1 million Kenyans by 2021 and start to expand regionally
  • Maintain high quality scores and patient reported outcomes >95% feeling better

Partnership Goals

Access Afya currently seeks partnerships for:

  • Generate research on the effectiveness of Access Afya’s community centric primary care model
  • Find new partners to join Access Afya's NCD consortium, which includes supporting pre-hypertension and prevention programs during scale-up phase
  • Find partners for Access Afya Labs, who are interested in testing new devices, financing products and other research in our market through our network

Stats 

Access Afya has provided over 80,000 primary care visits to date.

The Akiba ya Roho program will reach 250,000 people in Kenya by the end of 2020.

96 percent of patients indicated that the treatment improved their conditions.

Clients save 66 percent in costs compared to other available options.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
For-profit

Headquarters:
Nairobi, Kenya

Stage:
Growth

Working in:
Kenya

Employees:
55

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