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Econet Launches Phone Based Medical Aid – Maisha


At exactly 09:51 earlier on today Econet sent this TechnoMag Scribe a text mesage indicating Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe’s health insurance unit, Maisha Health Fund, has launched an innovative and convenient way to register for medical aid cover through the mobile phone.

The service, which is available to all Zimbabweans by simply dialling *147# on a mobile phone, is expected to drive adoption through increased access to digital platforms.

Announcing the launch, Mr Eddie Chibi, Cassava Smartech’s chief executive officer, said the financial technology group had made strides in enhancing access to healthcare through paperless, digital solutions, that minimise cost, movement and physical contact by members.

Medical cover has always been the preserve of those in formal employment and often employer-driven. But with the new service, Cassava is opening up access for all – farmers, SME’s and those in the informal employment.

“As a country, we currently have more funeral cover than healthcare cover. I believe with this launch, we have broken a major barrier to healthcare access, as we reach out to more people in more places using the mobile phone,” Mr Chibi said, adding that Cassava’s digital solutions were designed to leave no Zimbabwean behind.

“We are faced with a health access challenge because of the Covid 19 pandemic, and the *147# USSD platform will curb the hassles, as well as the exposure, that comes from physically completing forms, especially for the marginalised members of our population.

The launch of the service, a first of its kind in the health services sector, could not have come at a better time when the nation is battling the coronavirus pandemic. The service is set to go a long way in reducing infection rates by encouraging social and physical distancing through the use of digital platforms.

“As a group, we are committed to serving where the need is greatest, and we believe through such innovations we will be able to widen access and at the same time ensure convenience, safety and healthcare affordability to many, using technology,” he said.


Ross Moyo

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