Banda Health is at an exciting chapter in supporting healthcare heroes in their local low-resource communities
Words, video and pictures by Tim Coleman
Mary owns and manages ‘Ebenezer Medical Care’, a clinic in a low-resource neighbourhood on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.
Every day, Mary cares for patients who need affordable and reliable healthcare. In this neighbourhood that’s hard to come by.
As the primary caregiver in her community, Mary often goes the extra mile for her patients. She describes how health care is more than administering medicine. It is social, emotional and even spiritual support.
Counselling those with stress, marital difficulties and unwanted pregnancies. Mary has come alongside more than 20 expectant mothers wanting an unnecessary abortion. She has since held those healthy babies in her arms, with relieved mothers alongside her.
Medicine. Gentle advice. Writing off debt. Home visits. Mary is a healthcare hero.
Yet, for all these endeavours, Ebenezer Medical Care is not sustainable, nor is it efficient. It works on tiny margins. It’s hard to track patient records, manage the stockroom efficiently, keep financial records and so on.
The cost of IT solutions used by major hospitals is simply prohibitive for health centres like Ebenezer Medical Care, nor are these solutions practical. This is where Banda Health IT solutions steps in, in the shape of Banda Go.
What is Banda Go?
Banda Go is an affordable IT solution designed by SIM’s Banda Health team, in collaboration with local healthcare professionals like Mary, specifically for health centres in low-resource communities.
Currently, Banda Go handles stockroom, patient tracking and cash flow. Integrated electronic medical records and artificial intelligence (AI) assisted diagnostics are in the pipeline. All the health centre needs for Banda Go is a working computer.
With Banda Go, health professionals like Mary can run their clinic efficiently and sustainably. They can give patients the right treatment, right away, for years to come. Costs stay down, healthy outcomes go up and the neighbourhood can flourish.
Banda Go is up and running
We are delighted that in July 2018, Banda Go went live in its first health centre. The second and third clinics are now going live also.
Within weeks of full operation, it is already clear how Banda Go transforms a low-resource health centre, namely saving time for patient care by automating reports and streamlining management of a clinic's supplies of medications.
The number of centres that can benefit from Banda Go is an exciting prospect.
The team expects plenty more health centres to adopt Banda Go. Another 20 in 2018, and by 2020, we hope to be serving more than 2 million people across 500 centres, all from low resource communities in Kenya, East Africa.