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Health information via cellphones

By Brigid Chemweno | August 31st 2016
Alice Mueni presenting her product, Totohealth, before she emerged winner overall at iHub Technology Innovation Community Bishop Magua Centre, Ngong road. She was among six nominees of the competition. (PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE/ STANDARD)

Expectant mothers can now receive voice and short messages on health and nutrition until their child is five years of age, thanks to a mobile phone technology dubbed Totohealth.

According to Alice Mueni, Head of Product at Totohealth and one of the co-founders, the service has over 21,000 active users and is currently in four counties.

“We use voice and SMS to send out targeted messages on health, development and nutrition that are fundamental for expectant women and children under five.

Interested parents register by texting the word ‘toto’ to the shortcode 20209 and once registered, they receive messages based on stage of pregnancy or age of the child,” Mueni said.

Content on this platform also covers other subjects such as vaccination reminders, clinic appointments, nutrition and family planning advice among others.

Mueni says the information can also be targeted to address whatever challenges the parent is facing.

“If a child is diagnosed with a certain condition, for instance rickets, the parent receives additional information on this topic,” she says.

Mueni also says the information is packaged to suit the general population and can therefore be relevant for teenagers, mothers infected with HIV/Aids and fathers.

“Our goal is to, by the end of the year, make this service accessible in all counties so that the impact can be felt in the entire country,” she said.

Apart from Mueni, Totohealth’s other founder is Felix Kimaru who also acts as the Chief Executive Officer. The two have a background in computer science and they have used their expertise to ensure the service offered is top-knotch.

Their efforts have received recognition after the mobile health service recently won in an innovation competition held in Nairobi. It is now set to showcase on a global level at an innovation festival to be held in Israel in October this year.

The global event dubbed Tel Aviv Conference will comprise of events and conferences focusing on different sides of digital, technological, social and urban innovation.

“That we have been picked to attend this conference is a boost to my career and proves you can receive recognition because of what you do whether yours is a small or big organisation. This is an opportunity to expose Totohealth to global investors and extensive markets,” she said.

Israeli Ambassador to Kenya Yahel Vilan said the entrepreneur will get a fully funded trip to the festival where winners from 30 countries will be joined by local entrepreneurs.

“They will participate in lectures, workshops and meetings with leading Israeli investors and professionals. They will also meet the smartest companies, techies, startups, designers, artists, scientists, investors, and culture creators from Israel and beyond,” he said.

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