Health Market Innovation Penda Health

Penda Health's clinics are open 12 hours a day on a walk-in basis. The medical centres are fully stocked with supplies, medicines, tests, and essential equipment. Medical centres are outpatient, and staffed by nurses (or clinical officers) and receptionists, with medical officer oversight. Medical centres provide consultations, diagnostic tests and medicines. Approximately 60% of Penda's patients are women, 20% are children and 20% are men.

Penda currently accepts payments made through MPESA. They also accept insurance from select private providers (a micro-insurance scheme and a larger corporate scheme) and are looking to get onto the national health insurance scheme. As of May 2013, patients can join Penda's membership scheme called "Penda Family Cover" and pay 3,000 ksh (US$35) and get all of Penda's services for an entire year (equal to about US$3 per month). Penda is a franchised member of the Tunza Family Health Network.

Penda Health uses a customized system, accessible from a PC, to track stock and expiry dates. When supplies run low, a warning is triggered to make sure more are ordered. Staff also text patients to make sure they're taking their drugs at the right times and in the right way, or to tell groups of patients that a specialist is visiting.


Penda is also working on developing their own electronic medical records system that ultimately will allow them to share records, if need be, with specialists both within Kenya and internationally.


As of March 2013, Penda has held 3 mobile clinics to reach patients farther away from their clinic. By keeping them simple (bringing their regular medical equipment and using tents and chairs) and placing them near markets, Penda has managed to break-even financially on these mobile clinics. These clinics are generally staffed by one or two clinicians and several support staff; Penda may also hire a day nurse or clinical offer. If patients require labs or additional treatment, they are asked to come to Penda's static clinic - Penda has found that patients are willing to make the longer trek to their clinic if a doctor tells them that they need to.


Once or twice a month, Penda holds a screening day at their medical centres during which they will provide free or discounted consultations for a specific ailment (e.g. diabetes). Staff also hold information sessions at churches, community meetings, women's groups, and other avenues that help them engage potential clients. To attract additional patients and increase excitement, Penda will also provide face-painting, shoe-shining, massages, nail-painting, etc.


Penda Health has 2 operational health centres and 1 clinic (as of September 2014) and eventually aims to open 1 centre per month. As of November 2013, Penda secured a partnership with a local university to build a dedicated mini-clinic on their campus and provide healthcare to all 600 students and teachers.

Article originally published