Press release

NEXT176 invests in Kena Health to expand access to healthcare

Feb 5, 2024
min read

Old Mutual’s subsidiary, NEXT176, is investing $2 million (over R36 million) in South African telehealth provider, Kena Health, to help address the underserviced healthcare needs of the majority of South Africans, as a national priority.

This comes on the back of and supports President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during the Presidential Health Summit last week, that the government is intensifying efforts to implement the National Health Insurance, which will enable the country to provide access to quality healthcare for all citizens.

“NEXT176 is pleased to be contributing towards efforts to promote equity in access to quality healthcare in the country. As an impact-led business, we are leveraging the power of technology to make healthcare more efficient and affordable by facilitating interaction between patients and healthcare providers,” says Vuyo Mpako, Founder and Managing Director of NEXT176.

Kena Health ( is a smartphone app that provides an affordable way to access private healthcare by enabling users to conveniently consult with qualified medical  practitioners at minimal cost.  Medical consultations can be delivered via text, voice or video call within the app. at a cost ofR185 including sick notes, referral letters, and prescriptions which are sent directly to the patient’s phone further supporting ease of access.

The cost of illness in South Africa is very high, more so for low-income market, with 80% of the population excluded from private healthcare as costs continue to escalate. This situation disproportionately afflicts poorer and younger people, who are new to the workforce or are struggling to find work.

Unfortunately, this puts the country’s already overburdened and underfunded public healthcare system under severe strain. Consequently, South Africa’s health outcomes are poor in comparison to its peers.

NEXT176 identified Kena Health as an effective tool to help address this problem through specially curated healthcare teams who work through technology. Through the App, patients can access month-to-month check-ups, repeat prescriptions including family planning.

“When we established NEXT176, we stated our bold ambition of creating disruptive and sustainable businesses that positively impact the lives of our customers and communities. We are delighted to work with Kena Health, to help us realise this in the healthcare sector. We are confident that with Kena Health we can drive inclusion and access to healthcare,” says Mpako.

The Kena Health App delivers a modern experience and interface, which makes for a seamless user journey that enables patients to get medical care within minutes.“NEXT176 considers this an important competitive advantage in a world that isincreasingly digital as consumer preferences shift towards enhanced user experiences and interfaces,” adds Mpako.

Launched in March 2022, the Kena Health app ranks first in South Africa’s Google PlayStore and third in the Apple App Store for medical apps. Kena Health’s roadmap includes adding a web-based solution and creating access for patients with limited space available on their phones.

“With NEXT176 leading our funding round, Kena Health is better positioned than ever to realise some of our grander ambitions to truly be part of a wholesale systems change for healthcare in South Africa," says Saul Kornik, CEO and Founder of Kena Health. "There is a genuine and shared commitment between Kena and NEXT176, to contribute meaningfully, towards broadening access to quality healthcare.”

Download the Kena Health app here:


Feb 5, 2024