Empowering women through mHealth
Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. This year the theme for International Women's Day is 'pledging for parity.' Although Kenya is making positive strides in this direction, many women still don't have equal say when it comes to making decisions regarding everyday matters such as health.
Currently, women represent 47% of the workforce, yet 42% of women earning an income can decide how to spend it and only 29% of households are led by women. However, when it comes to mobile technology, Kenya outpaces most of its neighbors. The high utilization rate of mobile technology in virtually all spheres of life has created a mobile revolution: 83% of the adult Kenyan population uses mobile money. This has opened up an avenue for pioneering innovations in healthcare as well.
One of these innovations, the mobile health wallet, was developed by PharmAccess and is currently being scale-tested in Kenya. In January 2016, the Dutch Postcode Lottery awarded PharmAccess and Amref Flying Doctors with 10 million euro to work together on an innovative approach to connect women to healthcare financing, quality and knowledge - all through their mobile phone.
Over the next five years, PharmAccess and Amref will provide access and financial security for 200,000 low-income women by empowering them to save, pay for and receive money for healthcare directly via their mobile phones. Women will also be empowered to make informed decisions about the health of their family and seek care at a clinic of their choice.