15 May 2024

Britam, Fsd Africa and Jacaranda Health Launch Partnership to Improve Maternal and Neonatal Healthcare in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya May 15, 2024… Despite steady progress in improving maternal and newborn health in Kenya, recent figures from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS, 2022) paint a concerning picture, with the maternal mortality ratio standing at 355 per 100,000 live births and the neonatal mortality rate at 21 per 1,000 live births. These statistics highlight the urgent need for improvement to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets of reducing the maternal mortality ratio to 70 per 100,000 live births and the neonatal mortality rate to 12 per 1,000 live births by 2030.

In a move to address some of the factors contributing to these dire figures, Britam in partnership with FSD (Financial Sector Deepening) Africa, and Jacaranda Health have launched Britam Lea Mama, a Value Based Healthcare system (VBHC), designed for expectant women, supporting them through the pregnancy journey from when they learn of their pregnancy up to six months after birth.  Services offered include prenatal care, skilled birth attendance, postnatal care, and newborn care, all of which are crucial in improving health outcomes for mothers and their babies.

At the heart of Britam Lea Mama is PROMPTS, an AI-enabled digital health service developed by Jacaranda Health. This service facilitates a two-way SMS exchange that empowers pregnant women to seek timely and appropriate care. By tracking the stage of pregnancy, PROMPTS sends tailored SMS messages to mothers, encouraging proactive care-seeking behaviors. Additionally, an AI-enabled helpdesk service is available to prioritize and respond to mothers’ inquiries, initiating a rapid referral process when high-risk conditions, such as heavy bleeding, are identified.

“At Britam, we recognize the urgent need to address the challenges facing maternal and neonatal healthcare in Kenya," said Tom Gitogo, Group CEO and MD Britam. "Through the Britam Lea Mama initiative, we are committed to providing comprehensive support to pregnant women and newborns, ensuring they receive the care they need to thrive."

The Britam Lea Mama program is premised upon three main pillars. Firstly, it is a companion through pregnancy where care coordination is provided including friendly appointment reminders, ability to SMS and receive information on what to expect through the pregnancy or any concerns one may have.

Secondly the program offers prenatal and postnatal care where a mother undergoes regular checkups depending on their pregnancy risk level, with more visits for high-risk pregnancies. Additionally, mothers are provided with supplements like iron or folate, ultrasounds and after birth contraception options.  

Lastly Britam Lea Mama includes value adds and rewards, such as transportation to the hospital for delivery and back home after delivery, telehealth services, mental health support, fruit baskets, baby care bag that includes necessities such as diapers and wipes.

To ensure success and viability of the initiative, Britam Lea Mama will collect data on maternal and neonatal health indicators to track progress and make data driven decisions.

Participating healthcare providers will also undergo extensive training sessions focusing on appropriate labor management, obstetric emergency recognition and effective patient communication. Further the program’s implementing partners will continuously monitor clinical outcomes, and patient satisfaction to ensure impact of the program.

"By adopting a value-based approach, we aim to enhance the quality of care while reducing the per-capita cost of healthcare," said Tamara Cook, FSD Kenya CEO. "This collaborative effort represents a significant step towards achieving sustainable improvements in maternal and neonatal health outcomes in Kenya."

The traditional fee-for-service healthcare payment model, once seen as an effective billing solution, no longer meets the evolving needs of patients. Value-based care programs like the Britam Lea Mama prioritizes quality of care, linking reimbursements to the delivery of high-quality, coordinated services. By embracing this paradigm shift, Britam, FSD Africa, and Jacaranda Health aim to enhance maternal and neonatal health outcomes, bringing Kenya closer to achieving its SDG targets.