In the beautiful Eastern African of Kenya where innovative mobile Apps are coming out daily, Mamakiba is being developed. Its goal is simple – make sure the mama has enough money to deliver her baby in a good hospital. This will prevent child mortality and reduce risks to her her life also.
Mamakiba is a health financial services suite being designed and developed by Multiple Choices Labs. Its main track is a patient-facing SMS savings calculator and prepayment tracking tool specifically designed to help low-income women be able to save and prepay for their maternal health needs such as ante-natal care (ANC) and clinical delivery. MC Labs aims to bring an innovative systems approach to standardizing and delivering high-quality and affordable continuum of care for mothers and their babies and generally lower the bar to independent innovation on financial services by health clinics.
Mamakiba addresses two particular areas of the customer’s financial planning needs in having a baby, which are establishing and maintaining a savings target for maternal healthcare costs and prepaying towards this target in a convenient way using Mpesa. The customer registers at the Jacaranda Health clinics during the first visit by opening an electronic medical record, which simultaneously registers her for Mamakiba should she wish to join. As part of the standard patient information data collection, she provides 1) her full name, 2) mobile phone number and 3) pregnancy term. If she opts into Mamakiba, she also provides 4) her savings target, which is tied into the Jacaranda Health bundled services including the WHO recommended 4 ANC visits, lab tests, health counseling and normal delivery or emergency treatment 5) the amount she can deposit per period 6) the frequency of the deposit periods and 7) validation of an Mpesa account. If she does not own one, she could possibly activate the Mpesa account through the Jacaranda Health registration process or return later to opt into Mamakiba after registering with an Mpesa agent.
From all indications, the challenge to a mobile revolution in Africa is simply lack of capital. The talent is there and it is high time a strong venture capital environment is developed. With the likes of Mamakiba (meaning Mother + Savings), local solutions must not come from far.