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 2.2 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

Existing Partnerships

Partnerships help Access Afya invest in its infrastructure and team. Currently, Access Afya works with:

  • Boehringer Ingelheim, for project management, expertise, initial capital, resources, and PR support
  • DemDX, who builds a clinical decision support tool
  • Ashoka, for regular guidance and goal mapping

Organization Goals

This year, Access Afya is tripling the size of its ground operations with 10 new sites. As the organization scales, revenue will come through:

  • Membership and product sales: sale of Access Afya Membership, diagnostic testing, medicine and health and hygiene products
  • Screenings and clinical management: clinics experience a 10 percent boost in revenue from diabetes and hypertension management
  • Access Afya Labs: developing new business lines around product development, testing, and research

Partnership Goals

Access Afya currently seeks partnerships for:

  • Consultation on service delivery: to evaluate and improve use of technology in clinical workflows
  • Executive coaching: to strike balance between execution/reflection, collaboration/autonomy, and small/midsize staff
  • Monitoring and evaluation: consultation on study design and project plan to contrast Access Afya's care model with alternatives to support distribution to governments
  • PR refinement: to refine standard PR assets so messaging is easy to understand and avoids jargon


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

96 percent of patients report feeling better after their visit. 

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

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Nairobi, Kenya


Working in:


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