In Summary
  • Subscribers will be automatically alerted by SMS through the firm’s roaming service once they cross the borders of a country with an ongoing infectious disease outbreak.

  • Mr Chege said around 1.4 million Kenyans regularly travel in and out of the country, with the majority visiting destinations around the East African region.

Safaricom has partnered with the Ministry of Health and Korea Telecom to launch a new service that will alert subscribers on disease outbreaks whenever they travel abroad.

Dubbed Safiri Smart, the service which is free for all Safaricom users can be accessed by pressing *265# and then opting for the information to be provided in English or Swahili.

The service, which is already up and running, will be accessible to most mobile phone users as it is based on USSD technology, that sends alerts to one’s phone through text messages or SMS.

ROAMING SERVICE

Subscribers will be automatically alerted by SMS through the firm’s roaming service once they cross the borders of a country with an ongoing infectious disease outbreak.

Announcing the launch in Nairobi on Friday, Safaricom Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Steve Chege said it was important for businesses to create products that work for the wellbeing of the societies in which they operate.

“We are in an era where we should go beyond our business licenses and use technology to improve the society. Businesses must take care of the communities where they work by innovating for the greater good,” said Mr Chege.

Mr Chege said around 1.4 million Kenyans regularly travel in and out of the country, with the majority visiting destinations around the East African region.

He said the service enables users who travel to foreign countries to know which outbreaks have been reported, what to do in case they experience symptoms and directs them on which health facilities and medics to contact for treatment.

In a speech read at the Friday on her behalf by CAS Dr Rashid Aman, Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said the country was at risk of experiencing infectious disease outbreaks due to its central location that made it a major transit point for people from all over the globe.

Ms Kariuki said the incorporation of mobile technology in providing information on infectious disease outbreaks would be a great tool in combating their spread.

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