'Daktari 1525' Call Rates Slashed By 50%
11TH October, 2012- Leading integrated mobile service provider Safaricom Limited has slashed by half call costs to Daktari 1525 to Kshs.10 per minute. Daktari 1525 is a teletriage service which allows customers to get medical help from qualified doctors through the phone by dialing 1525.
While making the announcement, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore noted that by reducing the call rates, more subscribers would now be able to access the Daktari 1525 service which was launched in November last year.
"The Daktari 1525 service was introduced so as to widen the bracket of Kenyans with access to quality healthcare. By reducing the call rates, our intention is to ensure that this vision is not inhibited by costs given that majority of Daktari 1525 users are in the Kshs. 0-500 range," Mr. Collymore said.
Presently, Daktari 1525 service receives up to 2,000 callers per day. Since its launch last year; over 200,000 calls have been received for issues ranging from medical emergencies, suicide, reproductive health advice and information on small children who fall sick at night.
According to Dr Polly Okello, a Director at Call-a-Doc, majority of the callers come from Nairobi, Rift Valley and Central regions. He added that the Daktari 1525 service has set aside Wednesdays and Fridays as "specialist days" where Pediatricians and Gynaecologists are available to respond to calls.
"This follows the realization that many of the callers need specialist advice especially on matter to do with children and reproductive health," Dr Okello said.
Presently, the Doctor- patient ratio is one doctor for every 17,000 patients which is way below the WHO recommended one doctor for every 1,000 patients. The Daktari 1525 service will address this challenge and see people who would otherwise never get medical help from a doctor access it.
The Daktari 1525 service is co-owned by Safaricom and Call-a-Doc limited, an establishment that deals with the dissemination of medical information using modern communication tools. Safaricom offers the platform and connectivity while the Call-a Doc limited offers the expertise in medical services and hires doctors.
About Safaricom Foundation
The Safaricom Foundation is a registered charitable trust, and is the Corporate Social Investment arm of Safaricom Limited. Since its inception in 2003, it has disbursed Kshs.1.5 Billion towards various social projects that provide sustainable solutions to the most pressing social challenges. Its focus areas are Education; Health; Economic Empowerment; Environmental Conservation; Arts and Culture and Sports. The Foundation also responds to disasters and humanitarian emergencies as they arise. Safaricom Foundation's strategic directions contribute towards Kenya's development agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. Website: www.safaricomfoundation.org
About Safaricom Corporate
Safaricom provides a comprehensive range of services under one roof. This includes mobile and fixed voice and data services on a variety of platforms. With annual revenues in excess of Kshs 100 billion, it is Kenya's widest 3G network with a growing fibre optic cable footprint and its most expansive WIMAX presence. Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful such service anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007 as a money transfer service, it now has over 18 million customers and over 37,000 Agent outlets countrywide.