Safiri Smart, an initiative of Safaricom, the Ministry of Health and Korea Telecom (KT) is a disease and epidemic surveillance and awareness project via USSD set to help alert users of disease and epidemics via their mobile phones.
Safiri Smart, part of Korea Telecom’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.
“This solution will see Safaricom subscribers who opt in to the service receive important information about any epidemics that have broken out at their travel destination including prevention, measures and symptoms. Such partnerships that help keep our communities safe are crucial in our quest to fulfilling our vision of Transforming Lives,” said Stephen Chege, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Safaricom.
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.
Safaricom subscribers can access Safiri Smart by dialing *265# from their mobile phones.
“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”, said Myung Gon Chung, Vice President, Sustainability Management Department, Korea Telecom.
The solution has already been rolled out in Ghana and Laos as a mobile application, enabling citizens of those countries stay informed while visiting epidemic-prone areas and providing reports to health officials when an epidemic erupts.