The Congolese start-up WapiMED has developed an e-health application to geolocate health professionals to facilitate access to care in the most remote areas.
Even today, in Africa, there is a glaring inequality in access to medical care. Pierre Jacquemot has also devoted one of his articles to the review Afrique Contemporaine entitled “Health systems in Africa and inequality in the face of care”. In particular, we learn that public health expenditure mainly benefits the affluent populations of cities due to the scarcity of health establishments, mainly located in cities, and the very high cost of the care provided. However, health is one of the major components of the development of these countries. Also, if hospitals and health personnel are so scarce in some African countries, it is also because many qualified doctors are leaving the continent in the direction of the West, in the face of inadequate public policies in this area. This is why in recent years, surfing on the mobile boom in Africa, many African start-ups intend to take up this issue of equal access to healthcare by developing solutions in terms of e-health within reach. social.
This is the case of WapiMED, founded in 2016 by José Zefu Kimpalou and Steve Nkashama, a mobile application offering a directory of African doctors based on geolocation. It includes various functions such as filtering according to its needs, detailed mapping, a route to follow to reach the centers. The application also collects all kinds of practical information and a rating system to encourage users to use the service. However, there is a major obstacle to the project. That of the digital divide. As the application only works under an Internet connection, it does not yet allow its services to be offered to the most isolated people. However, the founders are betting on an increasing use of smartphones and widespread access to the mobile Internet within a few years. The application is required to develop new services and enrich its offer, in particular by developing sms features. Because as the founders of WapiMed say: “access to quality healthcare should be a fundamental right and not a privilege”.