The first lady, Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday launched Sema Doc, an online medical platform to interact with medics and improve primary health care.
Sema Doc is a product of the South African-based Hello Doctor organisation, in partnership with Safaricom and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).
The service will only be available to Safaricom subscribers by dialing *220#. The service which will be online 24/7 will cost subscribers sh. 60 for a single unlimited call while text messages will be absolutely free.
Speaking at the launch Mrs. Kenyatta said that the innovation will help improve health levels
“The main focus of the Hello Doctor initiative is to reduce the incidence of preventable health problems, improve efficiency, and ultimately save more lives,” she said. Adding that “Low-level access to healthcare facilities is responsible for all our health problems. Sema Doc is hinged on both prevention and cure of ailments in their primary stages… Mobile health platforms can provide access and reach that other channels cannot match.”
Health Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia who was present at the launch applauded the private sector for the innovation.
“For public health measures to succeed, they have to be supported by initiatives from the private sector. That’s why today I think Sema Doc is very important,” Mr Macharia said.
Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO said that Sema Doc will help decongest hospital queues. “Health services needed in places like East Pokot or even near here in Kibera can simply be made available by the use of mobile phones, since mobile phones reach in Kenya is high,” he said.
With Sema Doc one will be required to pay sh. 300 monthly subscription which comes with a number of benefits. The subscriber will be able to access a doctor unlimitedly, secondly, with the subscription you will get an health account dedicated to help you save for all your health expenses and finally the subscriber will be able to access an instant loan of up to sh. 5000 to cover medical expenses.