- What: Pfizer has partnered with PharmAccess, CarePay and Safaricom to support the development and implementation of M-Tiba.
- Details: M-Tiba is a mobile wallet dedicated to healthcare savings and payments for low-income patients in Kenya.
- Objective: It allows people to save, borrow, and share money for healthcare at very low costs, aiming to make healthcare more accessible.
- Scope: Following a pilot, M-Tiba was launched in 2015 for 100,000 people in informal settlements in Nairobi.
Pfizer, through the Pfizer Foundation, has partnered with PharmAccess, CarePay and Safaricom to support the development and implementation of M-Tiba, a mobile wallet dedicated to healthcare savings and payments for low-income patients in Kenya. M-Tiba is relevant for multiple levels of the health system: it provides individuals with a low-cost tool to save, borrow and share money for health expenses; donors and insurers can provide healthcare financing products (e.g., vouchers, low-cost insurance) to specific population groups and it also benefit from increased transparency; and health care providers benefit from improved cash flow and lower transaction costs.
A trial in informal settlements in Nairobi showed positive results: 5,000 mothers with children under five years of age living in informal settlements and 44 healthcare providers in Nairobi participated in the pilot, and more than 90% of users and participating facilities responded positively. Following the development and pilot phases, a broader M-Tiba programme was launched in December 2015 for 100,000 people in informal settlements in Nairobi.
The Pfizer Foundation’s support of M-Tiba is unique in terms of its high-level aims around harnessing the power of mobile phones and electronic banking to improve access to health care in a context where public services are often overstretched, and private services are not affordable for many. Given the critical nature of financing to health system strengthening, this initiative has the potential to support wide-ranging capacity building to improve access to medicine.