CURAFA™ integrated points of care: An integrated primary healthcare platform in Kenya 

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People in rural and peri-urban Kenya are lacking access to high-quality healthcare and medication. Less than 5% of Kenya’s GDP is spent on healthcare and only 17% of Kenyans have health insurance coverage. With 46% of the country’s population living below the poverty line, Kenyans are particularly vulnerable to financial catastrophe when facing health issues. 

In order to address this issue, Merck KGaA implemented the CURAFA™ points of care concept. Local entrepreneurs with nursing and pharmaceutical training jointly operate a primary healthcare facility in peri-urban locations outside Nairobi county under the CURAFA™ brand name. Through these points of care (PoCs), they offer affordable and high-quality healthcare, avail disease screening and basic diagnostics, improve disease awareness amongst patients and provide over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

Meet Lucy, a CURAFA™ entrepreneur

Lucy has always nurtured a passion for improving lives. She is a registered pharmaceutical technologist with a diploma in pharmacy technology. As a resident of Kiambu, she has a great understanding of the unique health challenges facing the area and her community. With the CURAFA™ point of care, Lucy and her business partner Charity, a registered nurse, are  optimistic about the future of health in their community as well as their personal prospects in the career that they have chosen. 

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CURAFA™ points of care´s impact is summarized by 4 A's: Access, Availability, Affordability, and Awareness: 

With these principles, CURAFA™ points of care ensures that its capacity building activities respond to local needs and draw on ongoing input from stakeholders.  The mission is to develop a financially sustainable social business model that will contribute to strengthening the healthcare system in Kenya.

The Future of CURAFA™ integrated points of care

Currently, five points of care (PoC) in Kenya are supported by digital tools for disease screening, disease management and operations, for instance a state-of-the-art patient management platform. The PoCs offer primary healthcare services and generate insights from the local communities to improve patient outcomes supported by digital innovations.

Ultimately, CURAFA™ integrated points of care aim at leapfrogging inefficient and ineffective primary healthcare in developing markets through services that improve medical supply chains, disease education, patient health financing through insurance schemes, and technology-enhanced screening, early diagnosis as well as patient management.

How YSB supports the initiative

  1. . We leverage our experience in setting up social businesses to deploy a structured process in building the CURAFA™ points of care venture through careful and iterative testing of hypotheses.

  1.  YSB supports the development of impact measurement strategies that help CURAFA™ points of care to maximize their impact on patients and the local healthcare system. In this process, we strike a balance between lean approaches to data collection and producing meaningful metrics for decision-making. This includes the development of a coherent theory of change, defining KPIs for steering and reporting as well as sketching a systems infrastructure for data collection.

  1. YSB has engaged with Merck to maximize impact while finding pathways to financial sustainability. YSB provides insights from experts in our portfolio and network to deploy innovative approaches in healthcare delivery in developing countries.

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A Note from the YSB Team: CURAFA™ and Social Business

Our work with corporate partners is focused on a journey from business-as-usual to business that creates net-positive impact on people and planet. Because of its impact-first and impact-only approach, we believe that social business is a powerful tool to change how companies think about their potential to create positive change. While CURAFA™ is a true impact-first initiative, it is not (yet) a social business. But because we admire the ambition and authentic commitment of CURAFA™’s team, we support them in creating and scaling tangible impact in Kenya and beyond. Let’s jumpstart Merck’s journey towards net-positive impact!