Zimbabwe: Econet launches mHealth service
Zimbabweans are set to receive health tips on their mobile phones, thanks to a service launched by the country’s biggest telecoms firm Econet Wireless.The Econet Health project plans to avail tips on how to manage stress, information about diseases such as diabetes as well as diet. Expecting mothers are also to receive information about pregnancy. Econet is Zimbabwe’s biggest mobile network with over 9 million subscribers, according to statistics from the country’s posts and telecoms regulator. Econet chief executive officer Douglas Mboweni said on Friday that "mobile communication gadgets had become devices where people can also access information about health" and other areas.
"People should know how to deal with stress and pregnant mothers know of what to do through their mobile phones," he said.Isaiah Nyangari, the marketing manager for Econet Wireless, said research studies undertaken by the University of Zimbabwe had shown that "there is high need for m-health" in Zimbabwe. The information will be available on the Econet network and will cost subscribers about 5 cents to access it. There are pilot projects that have already been undertaken where information about infant health care has been distributed to mothers through mobile messaging.
Mobile health is taking shape across the world, with giant mobile gadget manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple also integrating health applications on smart phones.Econet has also launched the Energize the Chain project where medical centers in rural areas use power from the telco's substations to refrigerate vaccines