Malaria is one disease posing one of the biggest problems to humanity today. In 2017, there was an estimated 219 million cases of malaria in 90 countries, with deaths reaching up to 435,000.
In Nigeria alone, about 76% of the population is estimated to be at risk of Malaria. And despite being a preventable and treatable disease, thousands of deaths still occur every year.
People who suffer from reoccurring cases often don’t test for it prior to treatment. This is due to cost and accessibility. And this lack of testing can lead to treatment failure and the development of drug resistance.
But a Nigerian healthtech startup is out to help with that. Meet Wellahealth.
WellaHealth – A Malaria Testing Solution
Founded in 2014 by Dr Ikpeme Neto, the startup launched its malaria testing service early last year to ensure every Nigerian has access to malaria testing and care within 15 minutes from their location. The startup partners with pharmacies and helps them procure genuine malaria test tools and drugs, as well as package malaria kits.
Patients experiencing malaria symptoms only have to access WellaHealth’s service via its website and enter their symptoms. Once the symptoms are entered, the website is able to presume and inform them that ‘It could be malaria’.
With that information, the patient can proceed to request a rapid malaria test, either through the website or on WhatsApp. Users can decide to pay the fee online after which they are sent the location of a participating pharmacy via SMS.
The pharmacy is notified and will be waiting to perform a malaria test on the patient and confirm a diagnosis within 15 minutes.
Should their test come out positive, a client is provided with a malaria care pack that includes a recommended anti-malaria drug, some paracetamol to relieve pain and fever, as well as some information on malaria.
All these takes place within 15 minutes and without the stress of having to queue for hours at a clinic for a test or purchase of drugs.
Already the startup’s solution seems to be gaining traction as it currently has a wide network of pharmacies, about 1000, as partners.