Powered by USSD 483090#, residents of Bungoma County can now seek answers to their health questions and inquire about COVID-19 from the comfort of their phones without necessarily exposing themselves at the hospitals or in public places.
This is after an IT firm, Snark Health, introduced a USSD code for people to get important updates, information and interact with medics across the County.
People are invited to use the platform to sign up and contact clinical officers at a small consultation fee. The aim of the platform is to help those in rural Kenya access high quality medical help at a lower cost and conveniently.
According to the Founder and CTO Eng. Edwin Lubanga, the the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic is at a critical point and requires unprecedented coordination.
“We are building a framework for data-driven discussions and shared learning to help people have a greater impact at their respective local, state, national level in collaboration with their organizations and governmental agencies, ” the Software Engineer told this writer in a one-on-one interview.
“Our efforts are aimed at enabling more rapid dissemination of information to improve patient outcomes. Our goal is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned to support the people and organizations that are tasked with problem solving at the local level across the globe.”
Snark Health’s mission is to connect patients and doctors to improve access and lower costs for patients. Patients can access the service by dialing 483090# .
For example, when I dialed the code 483090#, it directed me to a clinical officer and I shot the following question via text message:
“Hello Officer. Am Blogger Simiyu Wakajuaness from Bungoma. Got your contact from www.snarkhealth.com 483090#. Just asking, if I ran out of my alcoholic sanitizer, can I use methylated spirit to clean my hands?”
In return, she responded:
“Hi simiyu, hope you meant alcohol based sanitizer. M’spirit can be used as the last option as a hand sanitizer, it’s denatured alc content is 94% way too high from our recommended sanitizers of alc content of 70% and thus with continued use on skin it denatures all the normal flora on that sites affected. So once or twice yes, ONLY on non broken skin. #lets use the 70% one it’s safer. Thanks”
Those with smartphones can login to covid.snarkhealth.com and proceed.
Users can also:
- Download (Slack App) for iPhones and Android app Join discussions on Snark Health Slack channel
- Join the discussions by visiting Snark Health Slack channel >> https://bit.ly/joinsnark
Several users who have benefited from the technology have hailed the the platform for easing the pressure of being connected with healthcare specialists.
This comes amid reports of the soaring cases of Coronavirus with the County losing high profile figures to the pandemic.