MYDAWA platform has partnered with fintech and financial services firm Umba to allow users get a cash advance to purchase medication online in a move meant to reduce the out-of-pocket health expenses brought about by the spiralling cost of healthcare in Kenya.
MyDawa and Umba will see many more Kenyans, who have been denied their fundamental right to access quality and affordable medication and healthcare services due to lack of finances empowered and healthy.
MYDAWA MD Tony Wood, in a statement, said, “We are very aware of incidents where a patient may have been prescribed an antibiotic to fight an infection but cannot afford the full dose as prescribed. What can happen under these circumstances is that the patient will buy perhaps 2 days’ worth. They may come back for a further 2 days but as they then feel better, they do not complete the course of medication.”
Wood adds that lack of competition of an entire dose often leads to the symptoms coming back and often requiring a stronger dose of medication, for a longer duration.
“Actions that were taken because of a lack of money, in the end increases the cost to the patient in addition to the health impact,” he said.
The partnership also positively contributes to the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals in Kenya of ensuring every Kenyan gets quality healthcare services that they need without being pushed into poverty.
Kenyans can use Umba’s innovative point-of-sale financing through on the MYDAWA platform thus enabling patients especially those with Chronic Illnesses needing constant medication to get the care they really need so that they can focus on their health as opposed to worrying about whether they can afford medication or not.
Umba will assess a patient’s credit score and provide micro finance options to those patients who cannot afford medication but want to purchase via the MYDAWA platform.
Access to small loans to cover the costs of medication and allowing you to manage your condition can be the difference between leading a normal life or dealing with the complications that can occur from these conditions.
“Umba provides a platform that improves financial access. Our partnership is expected to provide a robust healthcare financing mechanism that aims at reducing the health expenses burden on Kenyans.” added Wood.
The partnership will allow borrowers to secure loans of up to 1,600 KES after providing personally identifiable information; the platform will use an algorithmic approach to determine creditworthiness and offer a flexible repayment plan.
Umba founder, Barry O’ Mahony said that they are mindful of the fact that traditional banks cannot serve majority of the emerging markets due to a lack of formal credit history.
“Our mission is to build intelligent financing for the connected world through machine learning that helps us understand our customers’ needs.” said Mr. O’Mahony. “We are therefore excited to work with MYDAWA in providing a solution for healthcare financing problems in the sector. We are making this the most affordable financing solution for MYDAWA customers” he concluded.
Umba, formerly Mkopo Kaka raised an undisclosed equity round led from ACT Venture Capital, Frontline Ventures and Bloom Equity to lend up to €1 million a month to consumers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania where it operates.
Umba said it will use the funds to expand to more markets in Africa to provide micro-loans to Africa’s unbanked population. The firm has over 170,000 customers in East Africa who borrow between $2.5 to $700 via its smartphone app aims to solve this problem. Umba allows users to apply, drawdown and repay loans directly from their smartphone or desktop computer.