Updated Aug 13, 2019

Penda Health

Founded in 2012, Penda Health is a for-profit social enterprise that provides high-quality primary healthcare services to low-income families who currently have little to no access to proper and affordable medical care in Nairobi, Kenya.


Nicholas Sowden

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Stage 5: Scaling

Currently, Penda provides affordable, high-quality primary healthcare services for the whole family at our 14 walk-in medical centers. We expect an average growth rate of one new medical center per month.

Focus Areas:

Health, Evidence & Impact and Data/Analytics

Health, Evidence & Impact and Data/AnalyticsSEE LESS

Implemented In:



Country Implemented In


In Nairobi, Kenya, many low-income individuals have little to no access to proper and affordable medical care in heavily populated urban and peri-urban Nairobi, Kenya. Typically, medical care is sought at government clinics, private “mom and pop” clinics, or low-quality chemists/pharmacies that often exploit patients and provide them with ineffective, high-cost care that does not adequately treat their chief complaints.



Penda offers consistent accessibility, affordability, friendly and non-judgmental staff, high-quality medical care, and primary healthcare services. Penda focuses particularly on maternal and child health – from patients who are women of reproductive age to the children they give birth to – and on delivering preventative healthcare to families. Currently, Penda provides affordable, high-quality primary healthcare services for the whole family at our 14 walk-in medical centers.

Target Beneficiaries

Penda Health works in low income urban and peri-urban areas in Nairobi, Kenya. Penda’s patients are primarily low-income families living under $5 per day and over 75% have no access to corporate insurance and therefore have a big challenge accessing quality healthcare (68% of our patients are women and 39% are children below the age of 9).

Mission and Vision

Penda Health aims to provide all patients with transparent, affordable, high-quality healthcare at our medical centers – from the actual diagnoses and treatment received to friendly treatment from medical providers.

Innovation Description

Penda utilizes a high patient-to-provider ratio, unique staffing model, patient-centric approach to care delivery, and a focused set of services that addresses key outpatient needs in order to lower the price of services. Penda’s medical centers are open 12 hours a day on a walk-in basis. The centers are fully-stocked with supplies, medicines, tests, and essential equipment and are staffed by nurses, clinical officers, and receptionists, with medical officer oversight. Medical centers provide consultations, diagnostic tests, and medicines, in areas ranging from HIV and AIDS to family planning to dental services. Patients pay for these services in a fee-for-service fashion (billed at the end of the patient visit) with either cash out-of-pocket (services are low-cost and affordable), through their insurance and microinsurance plans, or through the government’s national health scheme. Uniquely, Penda's medical centers are enabled by a high-functioning electronic medical record (EMR) system that streamlines patient care and allows Penda to measure patient-level outcomes and services to improve the quality of care delivered. In addition, innovative marketing strategies and local partnerships allow Penda to integrate into the community and better understand community needs.

Competitive Advantage

For Penda, our competitors include low-quality clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals that provide sub-par care to patients. At many of these institutions, patients can receive family planning services, but they will not receive the same quality of care that they do at Penda.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Most efforts to increase usage of modern family planning methods in Kenya focus on claims to rationality, using educational messages and formal health information. However, these efforts often ignore emotional and consumer appeals that influence decision making – and thus are not as impactful as they could be. Penda wants to expand its patient population by bringing in more women through emotional appeals – the bundling of preventative services such as family planning with beauty services.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Based full-time in Nairobi, Penda is run by a team of executives from both the United States and Kenya who are experienced in both the public and private sectors – in areas ranging from operations, to recruiting, to systems, to patient experience, to medical center performance, to fundraising, to investor relations.



Jan 2012
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
2012 Innnovator Cohort
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In