MYDAWA, Kenya’s e-pharmacy, gets $1.2 million grant to boost access to HIV, AIDS control services




Kenya’s e-pharmacy platform MYDAWA has been awarded a grant of $1.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant is aimed at increasing access to PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) services through MYDAWA’s e-pharmacy model, supporting the fight against HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

Approximately 38 million people around the world are living with HIV with close to 21 million of them in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The stigma associated with HIV and the public nature of the current onboarding system of PrEP has been a key challenge in the uptake of the PrEP Program. This challenge facilitated the search for a different approach that directly led to this funding which will go a long way in ensuring increased access of PrEP. Research has shown that when taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

The investment aims to generate evidence on virtual PrEP service delivery. A self-care model can expand the reach of PrEP through the discreet and convenient delivery services that MYDAWA is well known for.

This is in line with the Gates Foundation’s goal of accelerating the decline of HIV infection worldwide and saving lives through improved interventions to prevent new infections and simplified HIV treatment.

To date, the foundation has committed more than in HIV grants to organizations around the world. This grant is an endorsement of MYDAWA’s ability and the crucial role the company is playing in the provision of sexual and reproduction health services. MYDAWA has been at the forefront providing access to simple and affordable self-tests for pregnancy, and HIV on its platforms.

According to MYDAWA CEO Tony Wood, those seeking confidential service delivery can be confident of their privacy. “MYDAWA will adapt its current model that ensures a seamless end to end customer centred delivery solution for those seeking PrEP across the country,” he added.

“Specifically, this investment will leverage on MYDAWA’s well-established model to expand PrEP delivery online. Together with University of Washington, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Jhpiego and Audere, we will develop this model, assess its feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness in expanding the reach of PrEP. We will also generate necessary evidence and lessons learned to support policy change and further donor commitment towards this approach,” explained MYDAWA CEO, Tony Wood.

This partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Washington, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Jhpiego and Audere will provide the much-needed platform to develop and evaluate a new e-pharmacy service delivery model to support the effective and expanded use of PrEP to maximize the impact among those at most risk of acquiring HIV.

MYDAWA is an e-pharmacy in Kenya and the first licenced e-retailing pharmacy to be fully regulated by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board in Kenya. It is an e-commerce service that enables consumers to conveniently purchase authentic high-quality medicines, health and wellness products through an App or a web portal. It is a solution developed in Nairobi, Kenya in partnership with a diverse array of healthcare practitioners and suppliers. MYDAWA aims to bridge the gaps between healthcare providers and patients thus improving quality and cost of care.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a global foundation founded in 2000 and works with partners across the globe in tackling critical problems such poverty, health and education. It’s areas of focus offers the opportunity to improve the quality of life of people worldwide. The foundation seeks to build partnerships that bring together resources, expertise and vision while working with the best organizations around the globe to identify issues, find answers, and drive change. At the end of 2020, the foundation had made a total of $60.1 billion grant payments since inception.

continuation to inform decision-making and scale-up; and delivered media training and advertisements to cultivate an enabling environment for PrEP scale-up. In addition to the Jilinde Project in Kenya, Jhpiego currently implements PEPFAR-funded PrEP programs in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Rwanda; these PEPFAR-funded projects have all benefitted from lessons learned and insights gained by the Jilinde Project.

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