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Telecommunication Giants, through Partnerships, are Aiding Healthcare Distribution in Africa

Telcos have played a crucial role in improving financial inclusion in Africa. The same can happen with healthcare. According to McKinsey, healthcare is one of the least digitized sectors globally, particularly regarding transactions, digital spending on employees and digital capital. In Nigeria, Airtel has been a forerunner of this movement. It started nine years ago via the Dial a Doctor service, which allowed people to make quick consultations with health professionals. In April this year, it took the scheme further by partnering with AXA Mansard Health to launch a digital health insurance plan. The plan allows people access to telemedicine, pharmacy, and hospitalisation reimbursement. Vodacom is doing the same in South Africa. It recently partnered with the Free State Department of Health to introduce digital health solutions — the computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system and the assisted reality medico-legal surveillance system (ARMSS).