Ethiopia’s first Medical Hotline launched

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Ethiopia’s first General Medical hotline, 8896 Hello Doctor, which provides medical advice and information to callers along with other services such as ambulance and homecare services, which is also expected to incorporate specialist medical advice, was launched at an event held at the Hilton Addis, on Friday, December 14th. These services are being offered by Telemed Medical Services PLC that works in partnership with Ethio-telecom via Belcash Technology Solutions PLC. Dr Yohans Wodaje, General Manager of Telemed Medical Services P.L.C, said the hotline services aims at reaching and reinforcing health coverage in Ethiopia, especially in those parts where there are little or no quality basic healthcare services. The services cost 24 birr for three minutes of hotline advice. The World Health Organization recommends that there should be no less than 1 medical doctor for 10,000 people and 1 nurse for 400 people for developing countries. The current status of available medical doctors and nurses in Ethiopia is much lower than that recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). In Ethiopia, it’s estimated that there is only 1 doctor for 33,500 people. On average, there is 1 nurse available for every 3000 Ethiopians. The language used in the service is set to be Amharic and English on a 24 hours basis, with plans, in the near future, to include three regional languages; Tigrigna, Oromiffa and Somali. “There are currently 15 million mobile phone subscribers in Ethiopia, and the growth of subscribers is increasing at a tremendous rate,” Yohans said, adding that it has created an ideal solution by linking mobile usage to medical services to reinforce health coverage in Ethiopia, so that all Ethiopians can have access to medical assistance. Hello Doctor Calls has reportedly become one of the most successful solutions that have been implemented in the South East Asia region as well as in Latin America.
(Press Release)