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We won Gates funding!

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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U.S. News Media Contact: Jessica Vernon, +1 650 308 6861, jessica@mitihealth.org

Kenya News Media Contact: Jennifer Stutsman, +254 715 346 719, jennifer@mitihealth.org

 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 […]

By | November 13th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Meet Ruth Namai, our rockstar marketing and customer service associate

Ruth Namai

Today’s Q & A is an opportunity to meet one of the key members of our customer service and marketing team, Ruth Namai, who has been with Miti since February 2015.

What can you tell us about yourself and why you started working for Miti Health?

I am originally from Mumias but have been living in Kisumu since December 2014. I’m the second to last born in a luhya family with 8 kids, and ever since childhood I have always loved interacting with people. It is why I really like my position at Miti Health, because I have a chance to spend time with our customers in their chemist shops and build up strong relationship with them.

What kinds of work do you do during a typical day?

I’m responsible for supporting our clients at every stage, from when I first meet them during marketing to working with them to count all their medications as part of the stock take we do to start, to training them on how to use the Miti Health Application and ways it can help improve their businesses.

The trainings are always very interesting because each client is starting from a different spot. Sometimes you meet with a person who has never worked with a tablet before or software or who will tell you that they know nothing about the “the digital world”, and other times a pharmacist will pick it up so quickly. Either way my goal is to always work with them until they have succeeded and it’s such a good feeling once our client totally understands how to use the system in their shops.

But my favourite thing is when our clients are so happy with the system and service that they tell their friends to join as […]

By | August 12th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Unreasonable Institute: Benefitting from mentors’ years of experience building businesses in East Africa

Jen and Elizabeth Lindow, Mango Fund - Unreasonable

As part of this year’s cohort of entrepreneurs in the Unreasonable Institute East Africa program in Kampala, Uganda, Miti Health’s management team has had the opportunity to connect with dozens of top-tier mentors to support our growth across Kenya and East Africa.

Here Miti Health’s Managing Director Jennifer Stutsman is seen working with Elizabeth Lindow, Mango Fund’s Director of Women’s Empowerment Initiative, as they look at the ways to expand the impact of Miti’s social enterprise model

The strong community that Unreasonable builds – both between entrepreneurs and with mentors and investors – will continue to be an incredible value to our team long after the five-week program ends.

By | July 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The NY Times takes up the fight against fake drugs

Tina Rosenberg, with the New York Times’ Fixes blog, recently published a column that drew attention once again to the growing global problem of fake and substandard medication. Check it out HERE!

Estimates are that about 30% of drugs sold in many low-income countries are fake or substandard. That could mean that a company has purposefully falsified medications by substituting chalk or other ingredients for the medication and copying their packaging to pass them off as a brand name product. Or it could mean a manufacturer doesn’t have in place appropriate quality controls to ensure the correct amount of the active ingredient. Or it could even mean that a drug has expired and has lost its efficacy as a result.

The article also highlights one organization that has helped inform Miti Health’s approach to drug quality from the beginning – Living Goods. Living Goods is an NGO working in East Africa that leverages an “Avon-like” network of representatives to sell quality medications and other health products to communities across Uganda and Kenya. A study completed in 2013 showed that the entrance into the market of a high-quality medication supplier drove the entire market towards better quality medications and led to a 50% reduction in total substandard medications sold. Through our drug testing and supplier certification program, we at Miti Health aim to support a similar network of high-quality suppliers and chemist shops that may be able to drive comparable improvements in the market here in Kenya.

By | June 7th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Disrupt Africa highlights our work supporting Kenyan chemists!

Disrupt Africa LogoCheck out this article released by Disrupt Africa to learn more about Miti’s technology platform. The app, which runs on Android operating systems, helps chemists track their sales and purchases and generate key financial data for their businesses.

Here’s the story: http://disrupt-africa.com/2015/06/kenyas-miti-health-hopes-for-unreasonable-access-to-mentors-markets/

By | June 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

New academic studies highlight the dangers of counterfeit and substandard medications

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The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has released a special supplement on global drug quality, which is at the heart of Miti Health’s work with pharmacies and chemists in East Africa.

The 17 academic studies each address different facets of this global pandemic – field assessments on drug quality, new testing technologies and methods, regulatory and enforcement mechanisms, and implications to address them. Collectively, they make clear that we are in need of global action and new innovations to target improvements in these pharmaceutical supply chains. Without them, patients in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda will continue to suffer from poor-quality medications.

As the Renschler et al article describes, in sub-Saharan Africa alone, an estimated 122,350 children under five died as a result of consumption poor-quality antimalarial medications. What’s more, drugs that are manufactured with the less than the required active ingredients can lead to broad antibacterial  and antimalarial resistance, making even real medications ineffective.

Miti Health is working specifically to strengthen the pharmaceutical supply chains serving private sector drug retailers, where patients often turn first for care. We will be piloting a drug quality test program focused on 7 key essential medications. The field tests from western Kenya are just the start of understanding the prevalence of fake medications in the region and the efforts to get poor medications off the shelves.

By | April 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A big THANK YOU to all of our supporters

As part of our participation in the Unreasonable Institute, we turned to our friends, families, and supporters to help us raise the $3,000 tuition fee to participate in the program. We were blown away by the amazing generosity we received from more than 50 sponsors!

To know we have such a strong network and the support of so many people makes all the difference, so thank you! It means the world to us.

By | April 18th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

We’ve been named to the 2015 Class for Unreasonable East Africa!

We are incredibly excited to announce today that we have been selected to participate in the Unreasonable Institute’s East Africa program this summer. The Unreasonable Institute is a business accelerator for social enterprises, focused on providing early-stage social entrepreneurs like us with the support and mentorship we need to scale our platform.

We’ll be spending 5 weeks in Kampala, Uganda for the Institute this July, where will be joined with 11 other enterprises from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and even South Sudan. We’ll have opportunities to work with mentors and advisors, connect with potential investors, learn from our fellow entrepreneurs, and refine Miti’s impact and financial models to best position us to scale our operations and impact.

We can’t wait!Unreasonable-East-Africa-Logo-beta-300x77

By | March 26th, 2015|All Posts, Announcements, Awards|0 Comments

2014: Hard work, lots of learning, and a good bit of fun

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2014 was a big year for Miti Health with lots of highlights. Here are just a few:

  • Our technology team used our early product prototypes to develop a fully functioning tablet application, distributed via the Google Play Store, providing chemists with the tools they need to manage their sales, inventory, and suppliers.
  • We recruited and trained strong sales and customer service teams in both Kenya and Tanzania to test the Miti Platform and help grow our market and impact.
  • We completed inventory stock takes and on-boarded our first set of ten chemists onto the platform.
  • We built a database of over 1,500 unique medications that are commonly available and began working with a network of researchers who investigate counterfeit and poor-quality medication in the region.
  • And we started bringing in sales revenues, a major milestone for us.

At the same time, 2014 was also a year of tremendous learning.

Based on the feedback we received from our customers, we were able to develop a business model that licenses the application at an affordable price, which should enable our business and the number of providers we serve to scale quickly.

We learned a lot about the ways we can strengthen our internal operations, including streamlining the initial inventory stock-take at each pharmacy – an essential step in transitioning chemists from pen and paper systems to the Miti application.

And thanks to our conversations with countless clients, partners, and suppliers, we deepened our understanding of East Africa’s pharmaceutical industry and private sector health marketplace. We saw first-hand how providers often struggle with fragmented and opaque supply chains and how the lack of business management tools can lead to sales of counterfeit and substandard drugs.

So what’s next and where do we go from here?

In 2015, we’ll be focused on quickly scaling our […]

By | January 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments