Monday, May 15 • 11:45 - 12:25
Utility of a call centre and social messaging for health communication LIMITED

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Uganda, with approximately 75% of its population below the age of 35 years, is ranked only second to Niger among countries with the youngest population. Health programs are constantly faced with the challenge of identifying communication platforms that are relevant to young people. Social media and mobile messaging platforms have, however, opened up an interconnectivity that makes them an appropriate and futuristic channel for health communication. The Medical Concierge Group is harnessing the power of digital platforms to break barriers to healthcare.

The Medical Concierge Group Limited (TMCG) runs a call centre that provides access to doctors and pharmacists. Access is through voice calls, a two-way SMS platform, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Video chat and WhatsApp. TMCG disseminates health information on topical issues as well as provides an avenue for consultations and patient engagement. Through mobile based reminders and retention packages, the platform supports antenatal care, antiretroviral treatment adherence, circumcision drives and pharmaco-vigilance.

In 2015, TMCG had an average of 50,000 monthly users on its platforms. 80% of these were youths below 35 years with a male to female ratio of 60:40. We had 21,000 SMS interactions concerning circumcision, antenatal care and hospital return visits. WhatsApp and Facebook were the most popular messaging platforms with 80 unique interactions on average per day. Most queries centred on condom use, emergency contraceptives, HIV post exposure prophylaxis and assistance to locate required medical services. There’s been a noticeable uptake of the services by men and commercial sex workers that has been attributed to its confidentiality and privacy. The Call centre also provides a novel channel for community feedback on availability and quality of Health services.

avatar for Dr. John Mark Bwanika

Dr. John Mark Bwanika

Founding Partner and Director, The Medical Concierge Group Limited
Medical doctor with 7 years' experience in HIV care and research. Founding partner of an indigenous digital health company that's leading the design and implementation architecture of various mHealth and e-health programs in Uganda; and soon Kenya and Nigeria. Passionate about healthcare... Read More →

Monday May 15, 2017 11:45 - 12:25 IST