The easy accessibility of mobile phones and the continuing expansion of its use in almost all sectors, continues to make critical contribution to Kenya’s socioeconomic development. Look at how services like M-PESA, farming apps like Digifarm and ma3Route, all synonymous with Kenya and it’s unique properties.
Even though digitization is continuing to spread to rural areas at an incredible rate, a large percentage of mobile phone users are yet to use smartphones thus, service providers continue to rely on USSD technology to bring innovation to the people.
Basic text-messaging systems of standard mobile phones are proving to be of value in low and middle-income countries with the current uses and future possibilities of mobile phone technology in healthcare proving to be endless which is where the Minet Teachers Medical Scheme shines.
First, the Minet Teachers Medical Scheme targets one of Kenya’s largest group of working public servants, teachers. Teachers who work both in towns and teachers who work in the most remote of areas.
So how does the benefit of basic text messaging systems come in?
1. The Registration process which is done in two steps: Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) registration and biometric registration.
All you have to ensure is that you have these mandatory details:
• TSC Number
• ID Number
Proceed to dial *865# from your Safaricom or Airtel mobile phone number, key in your TSC and National ID Numbers. When your details are verified against the database, you will be prompted to enter your
name (surname and other name), role and gender. Once done, you will receive a message confirming your successful registration onto the scheme and a prompt to register dependants. Thereafter, you are prompted to select the kind of service required that is outpatient, inpatient, optical or dental.
2. Access to medical services
Members of the Teachers’ Medical Scheme can access any of the service providers on their panel countrywide. This list is accessible by dialling *340# from your Safaricom/Airtel line.
With these two key steps, teachers can ensure that they as the principal members and their dependants are always covered no matter where they are thanks to the inclusivity of mobile phones.
Beth Adhiambo was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 22 but is now cancer free! 💕 pic.twitter.com/GiPr2vKhDt
— Kenyan Collective 🇰🇪 (@KenCollective) September 3, 2018
3. Power at your fingertips
Patients are no longer passive consumers, but have become engaged, with access to new tools and better information and as little as it may seem; the power to gain knowledge on affordable and dependable healthcare cover at your fingertips, is something we cannot take for granted.