Under control: using tech to enhance disease preparedness in Kenya

Traveller using mobile phone

A new disease surveillance and awareness project has been launched in Kenya to enhance the country’s epidemic preparedness and control

The platform, called Safiri Smart, is being delivered by Safaricom in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Korea Telecom (KT). It is part of KT’s Global Epidemic Prevention Project and is aimed at helping the Ministry of Health prevent the transmission of infectious diseases such as Ebola from entering Kenya.

Mobile phones can be a great tool in promoting public health

Safaricom subscribers who opt into the service will receive important information about epidemics that have broken out at their travel destination, including prevention, measures and symptoms. Users of the platform who travel to areas with ongoing epidemics will receive information as soon as they land in the affected country.

“Kenya is a major transport hub and the risk of contracting a notifiable infectious disease cross border is high. Mobile phones can be a great tool in promoting public health. We are therefore pleased with this partnership that will increase disease surveillance in Kenya,” said Sicily Kariuki, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health.

Myung Gon Chung, Vice-President, Sustainability Management Department, Korea Telecom, said: “Global telcos have a unique opportunity to help prevent contagious diseases from spreading by sharing crucial information with their subscribers at the right time and in the right format. We are dedicated to championing these efforts as part of our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”