Kenyans can now access information on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) directly from their mobile phones. This follows the launch of an SMS and USSD service called Fafanuka which is Swahili for ‘to be enlightened’.
The announcement was made during the World Diabetes Day celebrations at Emusire primary school in Vihiga County.
The Fafanuka platform which is powered by Safaricom in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of Kenya (NCDAK) aims to address the information gap on the prevention, management and care of non-communicable diseases.
“Fafanuka will leverage SMS& USSD to educate public, patients, nurses, Community Health Workers and caregivers on how to prevent, screen, diagnose, manage and follow up various non-communicable diseases which include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and epilepsy. To register for the service all one needs to do is dial *215# from their Safaricom line and follow the instructions,” said Dr. Joseph Kibachio, Head of Non Communicable Diseases Division in the Ministry of Health
The content has been developed in partnership with various organisations who are part of NCDAK including Kenya Cardiac Society (KCS), Kenya Network of Cancer Organisations (KENCO), Kenya Welfare of People with Epilepsy (KAWE) and the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre (DMI). The platform’s secretariat is run by the African Institute For Health and Development (AIHD)
According to the World Health Organisation, non-communicable diseases (NCD) contribute to over 50 percent of inpatient cases in Kenya and 40 percent of hospital deaths.