Recent Developments

TIST: Rising carbon price enables more rapid growth of TIST tree growing in Africa and India

Growth of TIST’s pro-poor tree growing activities in sub-Saharan Africa and India has been held back in the past by the low price paid in the informal carbon market for its “high quality” carbon credits. The greater recent awareness of the need to act to address climate change has led to a large increase in 2020 in the price paid to purchase TIST’s carbon credits. The resulting increase in resources has enabled TIST to adopt a more ambitious expansion plan aimed at substantial further increases in the currently 90,000 farmer beneficiaries and the currently 18 million trees grown.

Jacaranda report on Financing maternal and child health service delivery "Leaving no money on the table", Emergency transport for mothers, and publish Q1 Impact Report

19 April 2021

“Leave no money on the table”: Financing maternal and child health service delivery

In March, Jacaranda partnered with Kenya’s Council of Governors and the health financing organization Thinkwell to host a workshop for health leadership of six of Kenya’s most populous counties. The two-day workshop was designed to help their government partners get a better understanding of available avenues for financing for health services, and to demonstrate that digital tools like PROMPTS can be low cost, high impact ways of using scarce resources to serve their clients. Ministry of Health (Department of Family Health) representatives joined as well to help guide discussions. Participants shared funding opportunities and untapped resources to solve maternal and child health challenges - such as more effective hospital reimbursement through NHIF’s Linda Mama program. A frequent comment from county leaders was that they had not realized how much money was ‘being left on the table’ due to lack of awareness. Teams left the workshop with a resolve to seek resources more aggressively for the upcoming financial year.

Jacaranda connects PROMPTS mothers to ‘Wheels for Life’ 

Jacaranda Health were excited to announce that they have joined “Wheels for Life”, a multi-partner consortium led by Kenya Healthcare Federation and Amref with Telesky, Bolt, and ‘Wheels for Life’ provides transportation from home to hospital for pregnancy-related emergencies, and has already connected nearly 2,000 mothers with cabs and ambulances. Jacaranda Health will boost awareness among its 400,000+ PROMPTS users across 10 counties. PROMPTS mothers with pregnancy danger signs in need of emergency transport will be connected to the Wheels for Life helpline for additional triaging and transport in the partner counties where it is available.

Jacaranda Q1 Impact Report is here

The first quarterly report for 2021 focuses on Jacaranda's PROMPTS program, which enrolled over 100,000 mothers last quarter to reach 430,000 mothers to date. They unpack some of the interesting data coming out of the PROMPTS helpdesk - growing questions volumes, increasing numbers of urgent clinical calls, and managing response times at scale. They also profile one of their newest helpdesk team members, Faith Bwana. Meanwhile their mentorship team are now working in over 250 facilities and have trained over 4,100 frontline providers. Read the report here.


Penda are jumping to the future of healthcare with new medical centres, tech enabled visits, a Whatsapp chatbot, and phone outreach as they prepare to deliver the COVID-19vaccine

19 April 2021

As thousands of families continue to trust Penda with their healthcare needs, the first three months of 2021 have been Penda's best ever as they opened their 20th medical center in Rongai, with  #21 opening in Ngong and #22 in Kawangware soon!

Currently, 50% of Penda patient visits are tech-enabled, and they plan to scale this to 90% by the end of the year. What does this mean, and why is it important? A tech-enabled visit is one that is supported by clinical decision support tools – sometimes diagnosis support and sometimes treatment support. For instance, all of Penda's antenatal care visits are supported by interactive checklists ensuring that providers are checking for all of the danger signs that may indicate a high-risk pregnancy. And for those who may be diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, they are making sure that it is easy to prescribe the right molecule to ensure they get better quickly.

Last month, Penda deployed an automated WhatsApp chatbot to open up another channel of patient engagement. Patients can now chat with them via WhatsApp and get all their health matters sorted at the comfort of their homes! To try it out, follow this link:

Penda have over 12,000 call center interactions each month. Patients call them for medical consultations, general information, and even drug delivery. Penda call patients to make sure they’re getting better and are staying on schedule with recommended visits, like antenatal care and vaccinations. 

Thanks to COVAX, the vaccine has arrived in Kenya. Penda are working to position themselves to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations. See this article by their Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rob, outlining Penda’s commitment to rapid, effective, and equitable vaccine distribution.

EfD help Jacaranda scale their maternal health solutions through partnerships with Kenya’s Ministry of Health and Kenya’s Council of Governors (COG)

5 March 2021

Jacaranda recognize that improving maternal health is a collective effort, and strong partnerships will be required to scale their solutions and embed them as standard of care at the national level. 

Launching a National EmONC Mentorship Curriculum with Kenya’s Ministry of Health

Jacaranda Health has been supporting Kenya’s Department of Family Health (DFH) to develop and pilot its ‘National EmONC Mentorship Training Package’. This curriculum creates a standardized approach to mentorship training for all partners involved in EmONC skill building, and we are excited to have contributed to its development. Additionally, Jacaranda worked with the DFH team to train a new batch of mentors using the draft curriculum.

“The training was a great success due to the wonderful collaboration between the MOH team and Jacaranda health team. It was good to see the Ministry spearheading the process and advocating for mentorship.. we believe that this will help bridge the knowledge and skills gaps being experienced country wide among health practitioners.” Teresiah Gatitu, Nurse Mentor

Scaling County partnerships by working with Kenya’s Council of Governors (COG)

Kenya’s Council of Governors (COG) is an organization that coordinates the sharing of information, capacity building and coordination amongst the 47 County Governors and their teams. We recently met with the COG CEO, Ms. Jacqueline Mogeni and Ms. Khatra Ali the COG-Health Secretariat to discuss Jacaranda’s current partnerships with 10 counties and explore opportunities for future partnerships. The COG leadership team suggested areas of strategic alignment, including strategies for increased cost-sharing and sustainability. They also shared a letter of endorsement to support expansion of our PROMPTS and mentorship programs across counties. Watch this space for more collaborations with the dynamic COG team as we scale our programs across Kenya.

Collaborating with I-DAIR to achieve inclusive, equitable and responsible deployment of data and AI for health

Jacaranda leverages machine learning and AI to reach more mums and improve health systems in Kenya, but we recognize that we need to work with a broader coalition of global partners to consider the technological and ethical implications of these next generation tools. In light of this, we’re excited to announce a new MOU with The International Digital Health & Artificial Intelligence Research Collaborative (IDAIR) to work on these issues. I-DAIR is a multi-stakeholder platform focused on global research collaborations on digital health and solving problems around the inclusive, equitable and responsible deployment of data and AI for health. Jacaranda and I-DAIR are exploring initial projects that could be scaled by other partners in the network, around the themes of Digital Innovations in Health System (DIHS), Digital Architectures & Data Interoperability (DADI), and Governance for Digital Health and AI.


Jacaranda's Delta e-learning platform now providing award winning accredited emergency obstetric and newborn training programmes to 130 government nurse mentors in 8 partner counties.

4 February 2021

In Jacaranda's February 2021 newsletter they annouce the launch of DELTA, an e-learning platform for healthcare providers across the country, share how they are working with Kakamega County to rethink maternal and newborn health service delivery, and publish their quarterly Impact Report from Q4 2020.

Reflections on 2020 from Jacaranda

18 December 2020

Like many others in the health space, 2020 has been a year of learning and adapting. It has been no different for us at Jacaranda Health. Maternal health has been dramatically impacted by the pandemic, and this year has challenged us to act creatively to ensure that mothers and babies receive quality care when they need it. As this year comes to an end, we reflect on a few achievements our team is proud of and look ahead to the year to come:

  • When COVID-19 reached Kenya, our goal was to accelerate the reach of our programs to as many women as possible to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on care-seeking and service delivery. Over the course of 2020, we have doubled our county partnerships, and are now deploying programs in 8 of Kenya’s most populous counties, where nearly 30% of the population lives
  • We have reached over 350,00 mothers with our PROMPTS digital health platform, helping mothers to navigate facility restrictions and closures during the country-wide lockdown, and access care at critical moments during pregnancy and postpartum. We have developed new features over the platform, using AI to ‘triage’ women with potential danger signs to our clinical help desk, and creating digital referrals for cases sent from our help desk to healthcare facilities.
  • We have also grown our network of in-facility nurse mentors, who support their peers building skills to manage obstetric and neonatal emergencies. We have built a network of 190 in-facility mentors who have mentored over 3,000 healthcare providers in 103 public hospitals. Our team adapted to virtual trainings and support meetings, and kept up morale as healthcare providers stood on the front lines of the pandemic. In order to keep facilitating provider skills development at scale, we are excited to be launching an e-learning platform for healthcare providers, who can access virtual learning modules over their phones.
  • We are kicking off a country-wide impact evaluation funded by USAID and with partners at Harvard and IPA.

As we reflect on the challenges and successes of the year, we also look ahead into the coming year with excitement. We remain laser-focused on our target of reaching 1.5 million mothers and babies with our programs by the year 2022 and reaching national scale in Kenya as the standard of care in all public facilities. Our work is getting national recognition, as team members participated in developing the national Ministry of Health guideline for provider mentorship. We are also investigating a pilot in one new country in 2021.

Looking ahead to 2021, our team is excited by the challenges and opportunities that await us. We will keep working to expand and improve along the way, to ensure all mothers and babies get access to the quality care that they deserve.

Nick and Sathy, Executive Directors

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