Public hospitals with emergency medical care services nationwide are now on Google Maps to help critically ill patients quickly access treatment.
Ministry of Health, Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation (EMKF) and BP Systems Online in partnership with Google have mapped public hospitals with emergency medical care services across the country.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki yesterday said the Google search and maps would enable Kenyans navigate the internet with ease by searching “emergency centre near me” and find the closest hospital.
Additionally, patients can now easily find opening times, contact numbers and the emergency services offered in the public hospitals online.
"The service comes at a time when smartphone mobile penetration in Kenya crossed 50 per cent of the population as at September 2018 with nearly 42 million Kenyans accessing the internet via mobile, according to the Communications Authority of Kenya. The entry of more affordable smartphones and cheaper mobile data plans were the primary drivers of these trends," Ms Kariuki said.
While sharing the mapping efforts, Claude Blatter, Google My Business (GMB) Africa leader, underscored the importance of the partnership, saying that collaboration with EMKF has helped in ensuring that public health facilities are mapped and critical information accessible online.
“Last year, between July and August, searches on Google for “Emergency Services” rose by 49 per cent in Kenya, with 72 per cent of the searches being from mobile devices. These insights were an eye-opener on the importance of facilitating access to emergency information and services using our Search and Maps platforms," said Blatter.
He added that this is in line with his company's mission of making locally relevant information easily available online.