Imagining traveling to a new country and not knowing what drugs to carry, what infections you are likely to suffer, the disease outbreaks and how to respond to them. This is not an imagination, it as been the reality for most travelers. Safaricom is now stepping to change this with a disease outbreak alert service that is now in its pilot phase.

The service will inform subscribers about disease threats within the countries they are travelling to. The service is free and subscribers will access these services after dialing *265#. Already up and running, the service is available on all phones as it uses USSD technology. 

Safaricom collaborate with Korea Telcom

Safaricom’s latest service goes by the name ‘Safiri Smart‘ and is a brainchild of the Safaricom – Ministry of Health and Korea Telcom trifecta. Although the South Korean company will be involved in the initial stages of the product, the mantle will be eventually handed to the Ministry of Health after 2 years.

The disease outbreak alert initiative is part of Korea Telcom’s global epidemic prevention project. According to the Korean ambassador, this collaboration is a manifestation of a healthy cordial relationship between South Korea and Kenya.

Service Operation

Despite, numerous technological advancements, this service will rely on the very simple roaming service. Once someone crosses the borders of a country with an epidemic they will be alerted via SMS. During the launch of the product, the chief of corporate affairs highlighted the importance of the project.

He went on to say that this initiative was centered around the welfare of the consumer. “We are in an era where we should go beyond our business licences and use technology to improve the society,” he said.

The Health Cabinet Secretary, Sicily Kariuki also pointed out that this was Kenya’s response to the risk of an epidemic. Uganda have recently experienced cases of Ebola. Having measures like this in place will thus ensure the Kenyan travellers have their guard up.

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