Mobile app to improve access & availability of essential medicines in SA

African Healthcare Portal launches in South Africa
Mobile Healthcare
Mobile app to improve access & availability of essential medicines in SA.

The national Department of Health (NDoH) and Vodacom have successfully deployed a custom-built mobile application (app) in 3126 clinics across South Africa, to monitor drug stock levels and reduce drug stock-outs.

The Stock Visibility Solution (SVS), a mobile platform developed by Vodacom through its long-standing partnership with NDoH, is now used in all urban and rural South African clinics across eight provinces. These clinics now have the fully deployed and functional SVS.

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Speaking at the media launch of the SVS mobile application in Midrand, Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, said: “The Department of Health is using the latest technology to improve health care service delivery and patient outcomes in South Africa. The Stock Visibility Solution enables us to increase access to medicine by allowing the Department of Health to track critical supply chains at any given time. We are able to monitor real-time visibility of stock levels in clinics to ensure that South Africans always have access to the healthcare they need, particularly for those patients who rely on chronic medication.”

The NDoH first partnered with the Vodacom in 2013 to develop and deploy SVS to improve the drug supply chain network in South Africa. Prior to the development of the app, the NDoH relied on manual processes to manage drug stock levels in South Africa’s primary healthcare system as not all clinics are equipped with ICT systems. During this period, stock-outs of critical medicines in clinics arose largely as a result of the inability to visibly monitor myriad stock levels across the country. This was also complicated by delays in stock order deliveries to pharmaceutical depots and inadequate notice periods pertaining to low stock levels. The mobile technology provides a solution to these challenges.

Vodacom Business Chief Executive Mr Vuyani Jarana said: “Mobile technology remains a powerful tool for us to successfully address South Africa’s healthcare challenges and the proliferation of smartphones in particular is changing the notion of healthcare delivery. The Department of Health approached Vodacom to develop a solution to clinic drug stock-outs challenges, which historically was a major supply chain challenge. Vodacom responded with an innovative mobile application that is being used to further social good in our country by delivering quality healthcare to all South Africans. This is an example of public-private collaboration at its best and we will continue to invest in technology and partner with key stakeholders to make a difference in healthcare delivery.”

Staff Writer