After successfully growing its footprint in Nairobi and the environs, private health care provider Penda Health now plans to expand to other parts of Kenya, mainly targeting households seeking quality and affordable health care services.
Penda Health will spend Ksh 100 million to put up three more branches in Nairobi and build five others in the Coastal, Central, Eastern and Rift regions, bringing to 30 the total number of outlets by the end of next year. The funding will be sourced from Penda’s investors and partners.
This comes as the government prepares to launch the next phase of the Universal Health Care (UHC) program across the country.
Penda Health CEO Stephanie Koczela says they plan to increase geographical coverage in line with high demand for quality health care in Kenya driven by population growth and rise in cost of medical services.
“Our main goal is to have a presence in under-served communities including rural parts of Kenya where population density is low and quality health care is inaccessible. Our unique model blending in-person care and technology will help us scale up our network to reach 2.5 million patients over the next three years,” said Ms. Koczela.
Over 80 percent of the health care provider’s patients are uninsured households. Penda is banking on technology and NHIF accreditation to penetrate this market, a model it has implemented successfully in urban neighborhoods in Nairobi.
“Our key strength is delivering patient-centered care in a way that is truly responsive to our patients’ needs and contexts. We have integrated technology into all our operations to create a brick-and-mortar model that is highly tech-enabled including a paperless electronic medical record (EMR) system that allows for streamlined flow of care, diagnostic, treatment and payment functions,” explains Ms. Koczela.
The expansion project will also see the medical provider realign its organisation structure, opting for a leaner structure by outsourcing non-core services so as to improve efficiency, trim costs and optimize its human resource to serve patients better.
“We want to create a more sustainable business structure. The impact of Covid-19 resulted in a decline in the number of patients visiting our medical centres. With technology, we want to go where the patient is notwithstanding the fact that people will still seek health services in person at our facilities.”
To enhance clinical support to patients on phone, Penda launched a telemedicine service dubbed ‘Pigia Penda’ (Call Penda) and ‘Chat Na Penda’ WhatsApp platform. Pigia Penda is now receiving over 100 calls per day and supporting 200 plus outreach calls to patients and coordinating home drug delivery, while Chat Na Penda has had over 4,000 patients interacting through this platform since it’s launch in April 2021.
Penda recently hired Karim Moledina, a business development expert, as its new Chief Operating Officer, tasked with spearheading its expansion strategy underpinned by technology. The coffee industry veteran, who previously worked at café chain Java House, will also oversee branch expansion, HR, supply chain, facilities and marketing.