#Article (Archive)

SMS for health a good initiative

Oct 20, 2010, 1:14 PM

The Ministry of health and Social Welfare should indeed be commended for the giant steps taken by them to partner with both local and international partners to introduce the SMS for Health in The Gambia.

This development would really improve the health delivery system and the partnership should be really applauded.

The good thing about this project is that SMS for Health provides real-time information which is analysed on a weekly basis using mobile phone technology.  It provides web -based reports on Key drug stock levels across the supply chain including health clinics throughout The Gambia. SMS for Health thus tracks medication supplies and monitors expiry data of pre-specified medicines. Incidence data on pre-specified diseases and the types of treatments provided across 50 health clinics.

Trend information obtained can be used to predict the seasonal variation in the incidence of disease, enabling appropriate drug stocks to be procured and distributed in time.

The project has also not lost sight of the disease and medicine spectrum which has been identified together with the Ministry. This reflects on high priority health areas such as incidence of malaria, pneumonia, maternal health and anti-infective and malaria treatments.

The project will definitely help staff of the central medical stores to have regular updates about the states of medicines in the country.

The Two Gambian GSM companies namely; Q-Cell and Africell involved in this project have to be also commended for complementing government's efforts in the health sector.

It is high time that people knew that without a healthy population, it will be very difficult for a nation to achieve meaningful socio-economic development.

The efforts also taken by international health partners and other bodies will have a positive impact on the health delivery system of the country.

We call on other partners to emulate this gesture and to continue to support the health sector, as a healthy nation is a wealthy nation; therefore health should be everybody's business.

We welcome the development of introducing SMS for Health.