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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds Kenya’s Maisha Meds to setup an online marketplace for Medication

by Milicent Atieno
maisha meds

Maisha Meds, a Kenya-based startup seeking to set up an online marketplace for medication supplies targeting chemists and clinics has emerged the winner of the Grand Challenges Exploration competition. The competition was commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeking to boost startups with innovative ideas that connect the first & last mile medication supply chains.

Maisha Meds is the brainchild of Jessica Vernon, and as winners of the Grand Challenges Exploration, the startup will use the funds won in scaling up and automating reordering tool for their online shop. They will also integrate price lists with a broader range of high-quality medication suppliers across Kenya.

The startup will also automate the mechanism of determining the best medication price from all available partner suppliers, and the economic order quantity of the medication supplies to be purchased. All these will be done based on their previous sales data, and the orders will be placed directly on the suppliers of the medications.

Chemists and clinics in Kenya benefit from Maisha Meds platform by getting high-quality drug supplies, and they can use the startup’s point of sale system to make orders with ease. Maisha Meds will also advance credit to the chemists and clinics based on their existing data ran through a credit scoring algorithm. Maisha Meds says that currently, its PoS software supports more than 30,000 patients monthly across 100 clinics and chemists across rural areas in East Africa.

Although Maisha Meds already has local competition in the Kenya market, such as Livia App and MyDawa, it promises clients a more streamlined and strengthened supply chain with a high level of efficiencies. Maisha Meds also promises to overcome the high market fragmentation and lack of transparency that leads to high inefficiencies in the supply chains, and supply of inferior quality drugs.

Other organizations that have so far provided support to Maisha Med are Merck, GIZ, Dioraphte Foundation, and now Bill & Melinda Foundation through the Grand Challenges Exploration competition. All these stakeholders work on shaping Maisha Meds to supply quality drugs to shops across the rural areas.

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