transportMYpatient: an initiative to overcome the barrier of transport costs for patients accessing treatment for obstetric fistulae and cleft lip in Tanzania

Trop Doct. 2012 Apr;42(2):77-9. doi: 10.1258/td.2011.110423.


Those with disabilities are often among the poorest and most vulnerable. Even when health care is provided free, transport costs may pose an insurmountable barrier to accessing treatment. This report outlines a new initiative in Tanzania which utilizes mobile phone technology to transfer funds covering transport costs for patients with obstetric fistulae or cleft lip and/or palate. The transportMYpatient initiative surpassed the set targets and saw a 65% increase in the number of fistulae repairs performed in 2010 compared with the year before and almost triple the number of cleft lip/palate repairs. Using mobile phone technology to transfer funds is an innovative way of overcoming a significant barrier to health-care access for patients in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cleft Lip / surgery*
  • Cleft Palate / surgery
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility* / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tanzania
  • Transportation / economics*
  • Transportation / methods
  • Vesicovaginal Fistula / surgery*