Vodafone, Safaricom, USAID, launch $14m health project in Kenya
Kenya's government, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Vodafone Foundation, Safaricom, and M-PESA Foundation, have partnered to bring the emergency transportation system m-mama to Kenya.
M-mama is an emergency referral system that swiftly transports pregnant women and newborns facing complications to appropriate healthcare facilities.
A clinically trained dispatcher manages the referrals and confirms facility availability.
The program also recruits, trains, and pays local community and taxi drivers to provide additional emergency transport options when ambulances are unavailable, ensuring greater availability of transport for patients.
The service will be easily accessible through a free landline and mobile phone number.
The partners will contribute $14 million to set up m-mama in Kenya. USAID will provide up to $5 million toward the initiative, and Vodafone Foundation and M-PESA Foundation announced an additional $9 million contribution.
USAID administrator Samantha Power thanked partners, Vodafone and Safaricom, for supporting the project.
Representing the Kenya government at the launch, health cabinet secretary Susan Wafula estimated that 6,000 women and 35,000 newborns in the country die annually from various complications, and she believes m-mama will help curb the problem.