It was launched by Goodrich Life Care, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Rwanda National police and other partners.
The application is timely since during this time where no meetings and training are allowed, it’s hard to pass any information to the public through mass gatherings and conferences.
‘Muganga online’ app can be accessed by simply asking questions on different health issues via text messages using a phone, regardless of whether it’s a smartphone or not.
This innovative technology is expected to help on behavior change (human being transformation), to prevent covid19, help the youth abstain from addictions like drug abuse, alcohol, assault, unwanted pregnancies, prevent diseases as well as reducing malnutrition and stunting, through text messages.
According to statistics, Rwanda‘s mobile telephone penetration was at 75.5 percent in November 2018.
Dr. Francis Habumugisha, PhD CEO and founder of Goodrich Group, says digital Health is expected to spread out to a big number of people because most of them use mobile phones.
The ministry of health provides all information regarding preventions on COVID 19, HIV/Aids, and Hepatitis while other partners provide information on unwanted pregnancies, drug abuse among others to be displayed on Muganga online app.
“The purpose is to build a safe family by using mindset change on top of other current channels the ministry of health is using to pass information to the public,” says Habumugisha.
This can be done through dialing *141# follow the instructions, and learn whatever they want to, through text messages.
They are working with AIRTEL and MTN, where a text cost only RWF 65.
For young people, he says they can use the app to get all information on how to abstain from sex most importantly how to prevent early pregnancies.
“This particular group of people is not at school where some of this information was being provided, on top of parents educating their children, young people can get whatever information they need regarding preventions on common issues affecting them through the app,” he says.
There will be also some quizzes for the users and prizes to those who have won to encourage more people to use the app for the sake of improving their health.
According to officials from RBC, this is also an opportunity for those who don’t have TV and radio to get vital information, and those who don’t have time to listen or watch news related to health.
Julien Mahoro Niyingabire, Director of Media Relations at Ministry of Health says that when you analyze the context of what the app is offering to the public, it’s actually what the ministry needs them to know.
“This is a good initiative because it’s made very accessible to everyone, it’s a dialing program where people will only have options to choosing on what they want,” he says.
All this information on health conditions and ailment, he says contain all areas of interventions at the ministry of health, therefore, it’s helping in educating the population.
As a communication expert, he believes that whenever you give out information, there must be some results at the end of it.
Therefore, after this, there are high possibilities of getting some behavior changes regarding the way people take their preventive decisions on diseases since they have that kind of information.