Penda Health: High quality Affordable Primary Care for lower income families in Kenya
A successful financially sustainable healthcare provider that operates at scale, Penda Health is a prime example of healthcare business that meets EfD’s criteria and deserves our support. After much trial and error it has identified and rolled-out a chain of healthcare clinics that offer timely, appropriate quality healthcare services at prices that lower income households in Kenya can afford. By designing services that are efficient yet low cost, Penda clinics can cover their costs and make a contribution to funding overheads once volumes have built up. Starting with just 2 clinics in 2014, the number has now grown to more than 20 and there are firmly funded plans to expand over time to 50. Hence Penda is now able to provide high-quality affordable healthcare services while also being financially sustainable and able to scale.
Penda provides high-quality affordable primary health care services for lower income families in poorer parts of Nairobi, Kenya. Why then does Penda need grant support from EfD? The funding provided by private sector patient capital investors is focused on financial sustainability and scale over the medium term. However it did not include funding sufficient to also invest in certain improvements in quality of care. Therefore EfD decided to provide grant support specifically to invest in the quality improvements that private investors were not currently willing to fund.
EfD support for a patient-focused Electronic Medical Record system
By 2016 it had become clear to Penda that operating efficient, low-cost services across multiple sites while maintaining consistently high quality care would require adoption of an on-line Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. Penda were keen to develop an “impact-led” EMR that in addition to business operations (patient scheduling, financial management, stock control etc.) could also capture real-time patient information so as to improve the quality of patient care and safety. Its core funders were willing to fund only the “business focused” components of the EMR so in 2017 EfD agreed to fund the extra costs to develop and implement the patient quality-focused components. For a summary of the proposal approved by EfD see this document. Those interested in the functional specification and implementation plan for the EMR can also review those documents in the related documents section of this page.
The EMR was rapidly and successfully implemented in early 2018 and now provides a wealth of information that has enabled Penda not only to maintain efficient and high quality care for its rapidly increasing number of patient visits per annum but also to use the patient information in ways that enhance the quality and safety of care while preserving data confidentiality.
EfD support for a proactive targeted Preventative Healthcare Delivery programme
Building on its success so far in 2019 Penda was successful raising additional capital to further grow its healthcare services. Certain quality improvement programmes which Penda wished to pursue were not included in the core funding plan. Penda approached EfD to see whether we would be willing to support a preventative healthcare programme aimed at proactively reaching out to patients who already trust Penda Health, and offering already proven preventative healthcare services in a targeted way. The proposed approach would take advantage of the patient focused components of their highly effective electronic medical record (EMR) system, and qualified, empathetic medical providers, to accurately identify, reach out to, and recommend preventative healthcare services to those groups of patients who would actually benefit from them. After appropriate due diligence EfD approved the proposal later in 2019 and the programme is currently underway. View a summary of the proposal approved by EfD.
Penda’s expansion programme is well underway with the target of 1,000,000 patient visits per annum clearly in sight. Because Penda’s costs have been kept very low, they are now able to provide services to many of those patients who are covered by the national health insurance fund even though funding per patient is just $1 per month. This will not only provide high quality services for these patients but will also help Penda generate the revenue which will allow it to extend services to even more patients.