KEMSA E-Mobile Launch in Kenya

Ordering supplies through your mobile phoneKenya is establishing itself as a leader in global mobile innovation. We have embraced a VISION 2030 plan with goals to create a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030. To this end, I’m excited to announce today’s launch of a new E-Mobile platform that will advance the future of medical supply distribution in our country.

The KEMSA (Kenya Medical Supplies Authority) e-mobile application is one of the most significant projects that we at the CDC Foundation mHealth Kenya have engaged in to date. The technology behind KEMSA E-Mobile will enable public health facilities to order their medical supplies directly from KEMSA, from a mobile phone, simplifying the ordering process and enabling a more efficient and effective distribution of essential medical supplies across the country. This mobile phone-based solution is exciting for Kenya as we continue to engage and lead globally in mobile innovation.

Working for the CDC Foundation mHealth Kenya, we were able to facilitate this successful public-private partnership with Kenya Medical Supplies Authority with support from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. To make KEMSA E-Mobile a reality, we also recruited the expertise of the following private sector partners: Safaricom, who provided in-kind contributions and subsidized mobile network services; Fintech, the system developer responsible for the development, training, rollout and also provided in-kind contributions; Dazzle, whose private-sector contribution was a new interactive website for KEMSA; and SafeMark that owns the Integrity System and provided in-kind contributions towards the project.

The impact of KEMSA E-Mobile will be seen immediately. Orders that would normally take weeks to get to KEMSA will be processed as soon as the facility staff hit the “OK” button on their phone. Additional features of this application include an integrity module that will allow citizens to anonymously report fraud, corruption and irregular behavior, helping KEMSA to identify these types of activity within the supply chain. Our hope is that the public-private partnerships we helped establish will ensure the project’s sustainability long-term.

KEMSA E-Mobile is revolutionizing Kenya’s approach to medical supply distribution, but gaps still exist outside the scope of the application. For example, KEMSA’s ability to track the dispensing of drugs in real-time at the facility level is a challenge. I think this would be a great jumping off point for the expansion of our KEMSA E-Mobile application…KEMSA E-Mobile 2.0?

You can learn more about CDC’s work in Kenya at and on Twitter at @CDCKenya.

Dr. Cathy Mwangi is the country director for CDC Foundation mHealth Kenya.