Bringing affordable healthcare to those most in need

21Dec
Business Updates

Bringing affordable healthcare to those most in need

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Melissa Menke participated in the 2013 edition of the Cartier Awards as a finalist for Sub-Saharan Africa. Her company Access Afya offers affordable access to professional healthcare clinics for people living in Kenyan slums.

Melissa Menke, the founder & CEO of Access Afya, readily admit that her company has gone a long way since participating in the Cartier Awards in 2013. Whereas the company was in pilot phase with only one working clinic when she first applied, it has since expanded to three clinics and will be opening two more clinics next year thanks in part to the funds raised during pre-seed and seed financing this year. Melissa has also gained attention abroad for her social enterprise. Most notably, she was named a Global Health Fellow by Forbes and participated in the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy this year.

Melissa is also currently developing her field-based healthcare offering in addition to the micro-clinic model she presented at the Cartier Awards 3 years ago. While the micro-clinic model is impressive in that it brings affordable healthcare to poor neighborhoods where public hospitals and clinics are scarce, the field-base model takes this idea a step further by bringing affordable healthcare directly to children in schools and casual workers in factories. This is achieved with minimum equipment for maximum efficiency with just a nurse, a community health worker and a backpack. The field-based model is more convenient than conventional clinical care, and is able to find things earlier that need medical attention.

Since its inception, Access Afya has provided healthcare to over 10,000 people living in the Nairobi slums. Melissa takes pride in the fact that Access Afya “tracks outcomes, not just outputs”. By treating people with respect, making sure there is an individual follow-up and guaranteeing a sustainable and affordable system, Access Afya has gained a base of loyal customers. The company is now looking to run its model in other cities outside of Nairobi within two years’ time.

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