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Mobilephone app offers health tips

SCI & TECH
By - | Apr 12th 2013 | 2 min read
By - | April 12th 2013
SCI & TECH

By NICHOLAS WAITATHU

NAIROBI, KENYA: Few clicks on your mobile phone will turn it into a ‘Community Health Worker’ offering all information you need for healthy living.

Through an application called iAfya launched by Avallain Africa (AA), a social enterprise group based in Switzerland and Kenya, the application is accessible to anyone provided one has an Internet enabled mobile phone.

Shelmith Mumbi, Avallain Africa Content Manager explains that iAfya trials in Kiambu, Nakuru and Nairobi counties have been successful.

“The programme is intend­ed to bring disease-preventing and lifestyle tips directly to consumers through their mobile phones and we will soon roll it out to reach every Kenyan,” Mumbi says.

In essence, whether consumers want to look up medical conditions, browse medical procedures, check treatment options or need basic first aid information, the iAfya app will offer them answers to everyday health questions.

Now with over 39.4 million people with mobile phones, this service will take the place of Community Health Workers (CHW) whose number particularly in least developing countries has decreased.

The few available are unable to reach out to all Kenyans to provide the crucial health information needed.

Reaching over 30 million Kenyans, mobile phones to offer health tips.

Mumbi explains that employment, which has seen parents leave homes during the day when community workers visit has complicated the issue of passage of information. This is what has prompted the health sector to explore other ways of ensuring everyone has accesses to information.

"This trend prompted us to introduce a platform under which people can access basic health information to protect themselves from major illness," she added.

Some of the institutions the initiative expects to engage in future include University of Nairobi School of medicine, insurance companies and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF)

“ We are also working to integrate iAfya's resources with Human Resources for Health (HRH) programmes currently undertaken by various government, non- governmental organisations as well as businesses to expand access of the platform to any health worker irrespctive of their digital literacy” Dr. John Muthee, head of business development Avallain Africa says

Sarah Nyaboke, a food vendor has used the service at www.iafya.org to keep her family healthy using information from iAfya on good hygiene by.

For pregnant women, the tool will serve to provide them with information on healthy pregnancies.

 

 

 

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