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Health information on your mobile phone

A mobile phone user

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – A mobile platform dubbed MedAfrica went live on Wednesday, with the aim of streamlining the dissemination of health solutions in Kenya.

Local content developer Shimba Technologies launched the platform application that provides basic health information to users via SMS alert and web services to a mobile phone.

The company’s CEO Steven Mutinda said MedAfrica seeks to improve the health of communities and regions by increasing access to health care related information and services in Africa.

“It’s a platform that goes out there and brings together health service providers, like you hospital, your fitness guy. So we are trying to aggregate health to the common wananchi in one place,” he said.

The service that is supported by Nokia, gives information on drugs, symptoms, medical news as well as SMS alerts.

With only 7,000 registered health providers in Kenya that has a population of almost 40 million, Mutinda says Med Africa helps bridge the information gap in the health sector.

Nokia Head of EDX (Ecosystem Developer Experience) East and Southern Africa Agatha Gikunda said apart from sponsoring Shimba Technologies, Nokia is working with 30 other local developers to get their applications to the market.

“We have at least 350 different local applications. A group of about 30 developers, who are prolific and are creating lots of content for distribution not just for Kenya but around the world through our Ovi Store,” she said.

MedAfrica won the Pivot 25 Award, a regional competition recognizing local developers as well as emerged as one of the top 10 apps at a conference in Silicon Valley earlier this year.

The start-up is seeking out partnerships with players from the public and private sector as well as the general population to amplify their contribution to health-care service delivery.

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“Our mission is to Increase access to health related content and services to save lives and build a healthy population, our target being to reach every house hold in Africa. In this case we have a road map in place where we launch the product in Kenya then scale it to other African Countries,” said Jackline Cheruiyot, MedAfrica Team Leader.

Shimba Technologies has spearheaded the development of other solutions such as CDFMonitor, KTraffic, RichMobile and Sarova.

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