A recent article on CNN mentioned that Africa is not just a mobile first continent – it’s mobile only.
Mobile phones are rapidly becoming ubiquitous – with an estimated 32 million cellphone users in South Africa according the latest SAARF AMPS survey.
This has led to the humble mobile phone – and more often in Africa not smart phones but the most basic and simple of mobile phones – becoming a critical distribution and communication link between first world health care and citizens that find themselves in varying extremes of poverty.
We have been fortunate enough to be involved in some ground breaking projects that we term “mHope” – comprising of mHealth, well-being and community services accessible through mobile phones.
As such we have positioned ourselves as a provider of core mHope mobile technology channels to NPOs (Non Profit Organisations) and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations).
Below we have summarised some of these initiatives and highlighted the mobile channels that we provided. This is a critical but rewarding focus area and we would encourage you to read through and visit the various Providers that are making such a difference in South Africa today.
The most comprehensive directory of health clinics in South Africa that can be accessed over USSD by dialling *120*448#. LBS is used to locate your approximate position and it sends you back an SMS with the nearest clinics.
Brothers For Life
A directory of free medical male circumcision (MMC) services that can be accessed over USSD by dialling *120*662#. The mobile service uses LBS to locate your approximate position and it sends you back an SMS with the nearest clinics.
Launched in townships and other under-served areas in and around Cape Town, Lungisa is a community monitoring and reporting tool allowing a voice to service delivery problems through USSD by dialling *120*852#.
Vodacom Red Alert
Part of a Vodafone world-wide initiative, Red Alert enables you to donate money to a natural disaster relief effort directly from your cellphone using an SMS or USSD number. The donation is processed using EBS. 100% of all funds raised are passed over to the participating disaster relief organization.