The coming of Covid-19 has changed how people relate and do business. People are currently observing social distancing, working from their homes, observing hygiene levels by washing hands using water and soap, hand sanitizers, and wearing masks while in public places.
When the government announced plans to roll out mandatory tests for Covid-19 for those Kenyans who will be visiting health facilities for other illnesses, the number of patients visiting hospitals drastically dropped.
The Ministry of Health, in a statement, noted with concern the drastic drop in the number of patients vising hospitals for fear of being tested and found with the dreaded Covid-19. This worrying trend only means that Kenya might be looking at another pandemic as a result of other illnesses that are not being treated because people are not visiting hospitals.
With the increased calls on Kenyans to stay and work from their homes, there has also been an increase of Kenyans spending more time across online platforms. Uptake of services via online platforms has spiked by more than 200 percent in just 50 days. This means that Kenyans are looking for products and services via online platforms like never before.
How about having a consultation with your doctor online, get your medicine prescribed, and then delivered at your doorstep? This is not a common trend in Kenya but is slowly taking shape especially after Nairobi Women’s Hospital introduced a telemedicine product that allows the healthcare services provider to offer online consultation on all outpatient services at any given time of the day or night.
NWH’s telemedicine feature makes it possible for patients to apply for healthcare services online, pay through the M-Pesa mobile money service, and get a consultation from a qualified doctor through the Hospital’s online portal.
According to Dr. Sam Thenya, the Founder of Nairobi Womens Hospital, traveling has been restricted as part of efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic which means that physical hospital visits are not encouraged unless in severe cases. But this does not mean that Kenyans should forget about their health.
“Our Telemedicine feature enables patients to continue seeking services needed to maintain their health without having to physically go to a Hospital,” he said.
The feature also makes it possible for the delivery of prescription drugs to the patient’s home or office, further limiting the need to physically visit a health facility.