Africa’s health system has been constantly facing numerous problems for a while now. The constant search for a non-corruptible system has been effortless. This is why we have now realized that mobile phones can help us address our long standing issues in Africa. With the health system, we started with simple text messages that would give health advice after subscribing. Although the text messages have been working well to combat the issues that people face, it has certainly not been enough. A new system is being implemented to counter problems such as child mortality, countering the spread of contagious diseases. The best thing about this new implementation is the ambulance accessibility
One of the greatest startups from Kenya has been called the Uber for ambulances known as Flare. The grim reality in Kenya is the slow response to health emergencies. The new service is meant to tackle emergency response systems particularly in Nairobi. Although there are many ambulances in Nairobi there are still very few accessible ambulances. It is also well known that the average Kenyan is unable to afford good quality transport to the hospital. The problem for a while has been the lack of option for many people in emergency medicine. With this new development, many people will be able to browse for emergency transport options by brand, price and quality. This will make all the difference in the health system.
Recently in Tanzania a new SMS messaging service was created known as Wazazi Nipendeni meaning ‘parents love me’ in Swahili. The new service is meant to reduce infant mortality as Tanzania already registers 45,000 new born babies yearly. The service usually sends free medical advice to expectant mothers about pregnancy and childhood care. The service was launched four years ago and since then it has reached a total of 500,000 users and 5 million text messages sent. The only problem with this new system is cyber security which could at any time be at risk. If proper security measures are not taken, patient medical information can be exposed. But despite the risk the benefits are higher as long as data is well protected. One of the greatest benefits is the follow up that doctors do via SMS to their patients.
So far a recent study shows that 557 million Africans have subscribed to the e-health services. This opportunity also creates jobs for many young Africans especially technology entrepreneurs. A business minded team and medical practitioners is what this new startup often needs. This new system will finally ensure that the marginalized who have no health insurance to constantly go to hospital will still receive some medical care. Sometimes all people need when it comes to health is simple advice and that is what these startups are doing.