Tanzania telcos playing their part in fighting COVID-19

Thursday May 14 2020

 

By Paul Raphael

The past six months have been tumultuous for almost everyone as economies get ravaged, some to the extent of coming to a standstill.
Never in our time has the world witnessed such suffering which is likely to become a turning point on how we handle several facets of life.
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact upon many societies, affecting citizens and healthcare workers across Africa.
Countries across the continent – Tanzania included – have worked hard to help hospitals and medical facilities to manage, wherever possible, the predicted increase in demand for healthcare workers and medical facilities.
These measures have included closing schools and hotels; discouraging mass gatherings such as sporting events; and implementing plans to build a new medical facility in Dar es Salaam.
Meanwhile, technology companies across the world are working with healthcare providers to develop ways to meet the requirements of patients who might think they have COVID-19 or other medical needs. As such, many are coming to realise the important role that digital technology can play in supporting patients and help healthcare providers work more effectively.
Digital technology, often driven by telco companies, has been supporting Tanzania’s healthcare industry for some time.
For example, Tigo Tanzania offers its customers an application to enroll themselves into life, accident and hospitalization insurance simply through their smartphone.
Tigo’s health insurance product – known as Bima Mkononi – offers customers and their families financial support for each night an inpatient is admitted.
Meanwhile, Tigo’s birth registration application allows parents of new-born children to enter their registration information into their mobile phones which are then submitted to a central database.
Initiatives such as these are important for helping customers and their families receive medical and social support as and when it is needed most.
Despite the challenges of today, let us remember the creative ways people have developed to help keep us safe and protected in the face of a global pandemic.