The Nigerian healthcare sector has seen a lot of developments lately especially from the ongoing outbreak of the Monkeypox disease.
Nevertheless, it is not the only country struggling with disease outbreaks in Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently confirmed that Uganda is also struggling with a viral disease outbreak. However, as Uganda struggles with the outbreak of diseases, across the border, Kenyans have a thing to celebrate since they can easily access healthcare professionals using MedBit, which is one of the most successful healthcare app in Africa.
Interestingly, the co-founder of the app, Jesse Kimotho is interested in the Nigerian market MedBit development came hot on the heels of the current never-ending strikes that have rocked Kenyan healthcare sector. This is are conditions which Nigerians can surely relate to. According to the co-founder, Jesse, the strikes in the Kenyan health sector has resulted to the death of at least 3000 peoples. Kimotho contributes the development of MedBit to the fact that while the World Health Organization recommends a ratio of 1:1000 of doctor to patient, most African countries are far much behind meeting the target. In most of the countries in Africa, the doctor to patient ratio is around 1:10,000.
Although the startup behind the MedBit app doesn’t increase the number of doctors or healthcare providers, it at least serves to ensure that the few resources that are present are equally shared by the Kenyan population. The app simply enables as many people as possible to the available healthcare resources. The app also helps the healthcare providers by minimizing the issues of overbooking or under booking. This ensures that the healthcare providers have a consistent number of patients that they can comfortably and efficiently attend to. This increases the quality of the services that the patients gets.
MedBit also has an efficient platform where doctors can accept payments without considering whether the patient has a medical insurance or not. There are two types of the MedBit app; the MedBit app and the MedBit Pro app. The MedBit app is designed for use by patients to find healthcare providers while the MedBit Pro app is designed to assist the healthcare providers to manage their patients. The healthcare providers can easily maintain the public profiles of their patients as well as allow booking from them. Kimotho, the co-founder also confirmed that they have started a pilot program to cater for those people without smartphones. Currently only 213 doctors have registered with MedBit out of the current 7500 doctors in Kenya. However, the startup eyes to increase the number to 1500 by the end of the year and probably have at least 80% of healthcare providers register within the next 2 years. The MedBit Startup is backed by a number of international institutions among them being Yale University, Nailab, which is Kenya’s best incubation lab and Yale Entrepreneurial Institute among several others.
The startup also has several sponsors locally and within the region which include: Drug Index East Africa, a number of local county governments as well as other undisclosed VC who help by funding the project. The Drug Index East Africa is in charge of the database and data integrity while the county governments help in mobilizing the population. Currently, the startup has around 15,000 monthly subscribers. However, it aims at having more Kenyans use the app. They also intend to venture into other African countries like Nigeria. They are targeting around 3 million users.