Nigerian e-health startup WellaHealth has launched a new rapid malaria testing service to market in partnership with a network of local pharmacies around Abuja.
Launched in 2015, WellaHealth provides a pharmacy automation system delivered via mobile, which deals with back-end management such a stock taking, electronic patient records, drug labelling and information, as well as allowing pharmacists to follow up with patients by SMS.
The startup has now launched a new service aimed at tackling malaria diagnosis and treatment; citing the falling success of malaria treatment in Nigeria – a country which it says is responsible for 27 per cent of malaria cases worldwide.
Patients experiencing potentially malarial symptoms can visit the WellaHealth website, enter their symptoms, and request a rapid malaria test. The platform directs them to the nearest available pharmacy, which will be waiting to perform a malaria test and confirm a diagnosis.
WellaHealth says thanks to the system, patients can obtain a test result within 15 minutes.
The pharmacies involved provide malaria care kits to patients with the relevant medication on the spot when diagnosis is confirmed.
Following diagnosis and treatment at a pharmacy, follow up SMS’s are sent to ensure full recovery from malaria or onward referral to a health facility if symptoms persist.
“Malaria presents a huge burden to individuals and businesses through lost man hours. Our service provides speedy, convenient malaria testing and treatment that enables a quick recovery and an early return to full productivity. Traditionally, one would need to go to a clinic and wait for hours to get test and treatment. With us, it’s all done at a local pharmacy in 15 minutes and we follow the user up via mobile to confirm recovery,” says Dr Ikpeme Neto, founder of WellaHealth.
The new malaria service can also be booked via a phone call, WhatsApp, or on Facebook Messenger.
WellaHealth was one of 115 African e-health startups recently featured in research on the sector published by Disrupt Africa, in its report High Tech Health: Exploring the E-health Startup Ecosystem Report 2017.