We are so excited to be able to announce today new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations program to help expand the financial tools available to our customers. The $100,000 grant, which runs over the next 18 months, will allow us to integrate Safaricom’s mobile money payments into our technology platform as well as build out additional reporting capabilities. The study will specifically assess how a streamlined point of sale and mobile money system will impact the adoption of mobile money systems by chemists and the use of mobile money payments by patients.
Below is the press release announcing the award, and you can read more about the Round 15 winners on the Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists.
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For Immediate Release
Miti Health Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant For Groundbreaking Research in Global Health and Development
Kisumu, Kenya – Miti Health Limited announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Miti Health is a social enterprise in western Kenya focused on improving private sector health care delivery and access. The Miti Health team will use the $100,000 in grant funding to pursue an innovative global health and development research project to assess ways of expanding use of mobile money tools among small, Kenyan private health providers.
Private sector retail pharmacies, also known as chemists, serve as critical, frontline heathcare providers for millions of Kenya’s patients, especially among poor and low-income residents. The project announced today builds on the organization’s work over the past 18 months leveraging technology, trainings, and customer service to improve the quality of care and the quality of medication provided by this group.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided funding for Miti Health to further expand its technology platform to integrate with Kenya’s largest mobile money system, Safaricom M-Pesa. With M-Pesa, patients are able to use mobile money to pay for health services directly using even basic phones. By leveraging Safaricom’s application programming interfaces (APIs), these payments will be integrated directly into Miti Health’s point-of-sale and inventory management system and will help expand the payment options available via pharmacies. The study will assess how an integrated mobile money and sales platform, along with access to financing, will affect the adoption of mobile money.
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. The funding for Miti Health’s project is one of more than 50 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 15 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To receive funding, Miti Health and the other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas. The foundation will be accepting applications for the next GCE round in March 2016.
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 1160 projects in more than 60 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.
About Miti Health
Miti Health is a global health organization with a mission to transform private sector healthcare delivery for low-income communities in Kenya by improving the quality of medicines and care. Miti’s integrated offerings include laboratory quality testing to identify fake and poor-quality medications, technology platforms to support better inventory and supply practices, and enabling access to financing for pharmacies and healthcare providers to invest in quality improvements and better medications.