Interview with Zanga Musakuzi, Chief ExecutiveOfficer, at MedSearch Zambia, at 07:10 AM CAT on SSU(Sunny Side Up Breakfast) @ Power 91.3 FM
Host: Kjay and Charmaine
Tell us a little about you and your team?
My name is Zanga Musakuzi and Am a pharmacist by profession, with over 11 years of working experience in the medical field, The medsearch Zambia team comprises of my partner and co-founder Dr. Moses Mataa, our IT developer Chimuka Moonde and we have medical friends who are on board like Dr. Lupinda and pharmacist Kalwila ching’embu.
You and your team have developed a pretty cool app, please tell us about the app and why this app is so necessary?
So, 2 years ago, I and co-founder Dr. Mataa were talking about how family and friends always call us when they need medical help finding a drug or finding health services like cardiologists, we somehow became medical directories, we realized that there was a huge gap between those who are providing health services and those seeking health needs, they should be a better way that people should have easy access to health information, how about that person who has no friend in the medical field, how do they go about having access to health information, that is how we came up with the idea of creating a mobile directory application, a platform that makes access to health information as easy as possible, so you might be looking for a pharmacy or a hospital where you want to do you cancer or Hiv screening from and you don’t know where you can find one, the medsearch Zambia App will help you find the nearest health facility regardless of your location.
We are leaving in a time where we have so much information but the majority is not correct information, so our platform tries to ensure that every Zambian gets the correct health information, it may be about Covid or cancer, we send daily health tip notification via the App
The President has announced the formation of the new Ministry of Science and Technology, why is such a ministry important for our country?
The world has gone digital and Zambia has not been left behind, 2 years ago digital platforms were just for social interactions that’s all, but the advent of covid 19 has taught us the importance of science and technology, that’s why as medsearch Zambia The ministry of Science and Technology has come at the right time when the world has adapted what we are calling “the new normal”. Everything around us now revolves around technology, and Zambia should not be left behind, I think this ministry will help all other ministries move the digital way be it health or education,
You recently appealed to President Hichilema to consider your app in the health sector, what response have you received since then, from both our leadership and the general public?
The response by the public has been overwhelming, in the past 48 hours we have seen an increment in the number of downloads, and people on social media are asking what more the application can do for them, we have engaged national health scheme (NHIMA) to come on board, hope we can finialize the agreement as soon as possible , because a lot of people have been saying if this App can help them locate nhima accredited facilities , a lot will benefit from the scheme, we hope after parliament opens today and minister report in their various offices, will be able to engage Ministry of health on how best they can utilize our platform especial for maternal, cancer and HIv , we saw yesterday Hon Slyvia masebo posted about the increase in the number of HIv cases, so we hope to add all HIv screening facilities in zambia , so that people will know where to go if one needs to do an HIv test from, or collect medication from, our goal is to contribute to Zambia Achieving the SDG number 3 and also the universal health coverage
How has the medical community responded to your team and the “MedSearch Zambia” app?
The response from the private sector has been positive, we already have health facilities from Lusaka, southern province, central province, and some from the Copperbelt, because this is helping them with the visibility, when we did market research, this is what the medical community wanted
What are the benefits to the users and the providers?
The benefits to the health providers is visibility, and bridging the gap between them and the end-users, during our research we discovered that the majority of health facilities that offer health services to the community do not know that, a person will move from Chelstone to town just to look for a pharmacy, but there are registered pharmacies in Chelston where people can go to.
For the end-users it making access to health information as easy as possible and coinvent, imagine being able to make a doctors appointment in the comfort of your home without even going to the hospital, imagine being able to buy over the counter medication in the comfort of you home and medication being delivered to you by the pharmacy its self.
We have ensured that each facility on the App is registered with both HPCZ and ZMRA,
Is the Medsearch app available to download? How can we access it?
So the App is free of charge for download, like we said at the beginning, our aim as medsearch Zambia is to ensure that access to health information is made as easy as possible, you can download it either on your android phone or iPhone, just search for Medsearch Zambia, and find the app with a magnifying glass.
For facilities that what to appear on our app, you can subscribe with us and let us help you go digital
What message do you have for the youth?
Let’s position ourselves to serve the country, it’s one thing to say we need opportunities, but if that opportunity comes, are you ready to take the opportunity and deliver, it’s a new dawn for us as youths, John F Kennedy the president of America once said Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country.