Country of Operation
- Malaria and other vector borne diseases
SummaryMennonite Economics Development Associates is working to combat malaria in Tanzania through sending e-vouchers via text message to pregnant women for discounted bed nets. This program is focused on providing bed nets to the two most vulnerable populations, pregnant women and children under five.
The program aims to use mobile technology to provide a cost effective, operationally efficient, and secure way to reach the most vulnerable populations faster. It hopes to improve voucher liability management, improve visibility in the supply chain, and increase the speed of redemption.
Key program components
MEDA is working to increase distribution and access to bed nets in Tanzania through expediting the paper voucher system. Supported by USAID and the Global Fund, MEDA is working to increase distribution and access of long lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) provided by the Tanzania National Voucher Scheme through the use of mobile phones. Created in 2004, the TNVS has achieved 80% bed net coverage through the use of paper vouchers, but gaps in the coverage still exist with 40% of women not redeeming the voucher. Through sending e-vouchers via SMS text message, MEDA hopes to decrease redemption time from 257 days to 60.
The program is targeted towards pregnant women and children under five, an overwhelming majority of 100,000 yearly malaria deaths in Tanzania. After visiting a clinic, a pregnant woman or caretakers of an infant would receive a text message with an e-voucher for a discounted bed net at a participating retailer. The retailer keeps the 30 cents, providing financial incentive to participating in the program, and exchanges the voucher for a new net from the manufacturer. The manufacturer then presents the voucher to MEDA for payment.
The discounted price is unique to other mass distribution campaigns because it is based on the idea that since beneficiaries pay part of the cost, they’re more likely to use the bed nets. The expiration date of the voucher, as opposed to the open window of the paper vouchers, results in better flow of funding and enables project managers to identify bottlenecks and alert distributers when inventory is low. The use of mobile phones makes it easier to collect information about basic information of the consumers, and the popularity of clinics and retailers.
The power to access and send funds through a cell phone is a game-changer for many health programs acro
- Tanzania National Voucher SchemeGovernment