Mobile operator Orange Cameroon is set to launch what it describes as a “preventive medical service” in collaboration with the country’s Ministry for Health.
The operator – a subsidiary of France’s telecoms incumbent Orange (Paris) – says the My Healthline service has been developed by its Orange Healthcare division and will provide remote medical advice in real time.
It is due to be released in April, and the operator plans to expand it to other sub-Saharan markets in Africa in future.
Taking advantage of the facilty, Orange Cameroon customers will be able to access personalized advice on contraception, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from specialists at a cost of just €0.25 ($0.35) per text message.
Orange promises to “anonymise” all questions before submitting them to a medical service comprising Cameroonian nurses and doctors.
Following analysis, the answer will be sent back to the customer.
Orange says the service will meet a need for medical advice in a country where there are just two doctors per 10,000 inhabitants and access to medical facilities is poor.
With some 6.5 million customers in the country, Orange Cameroon should be able to reach a large proportion of the country’s population through the healthcare service.
The operator says that development of the healthcare service involved close collaboration with the Cameroonian Ministry for Health to ensure there was the “best-possible fit [with] local needs”.