Meta, partners leverage tech to salvage health in Sudan


Gupshup, Meta chatbot

from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan Bureau
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – MULTINATIONAL technology conglomerate, Meta, and cloud firm, Gupshup, have partnered to bridge the gap in healthcare services for the Sudanese refugee population.

This is through the launch of a telemedicine chatbot providing healthcare access for Sudanese refugees in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya and Saudi Arabia, among other neighboring countries.

The innovative solution is in collaboration with the Sudan Medical Specialization Board and the non-profit organisation, Shabaka.

It aims to address the urgent healthcare needs of over 800 000 Sudanese refugees who currently have limited access to essential medical services.

By leveraging the chatbot, patients can now connect with healthcare professionals via WhatsApp, making medical assistance more accessible and efficient.

The chatbot, accessible through WhatsApp via a web URL or QR code, will be promoted by participating doctors and Shabaka, a non-profit organization which is a part of the Africa Foundation of Development.

After providing initial information, patients are routed to a triage team of healthcare professionals who evaluate their issues before connecting them to one of over 18 specialty doctors supporting the service.

“By leveraging the power of conversational AI (artificial intelligence) and the reach of WhatsApp, we can make a significant impact on the lives of these individuals who have faced immense challenges,” said Beerud Sheth, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gupshup.

Sara Ibrahim Abdelgalil, Shabaka Senior Advisor and Project Lead (Telemedicine), said the partnership with Gupshup and Meta allowed several Sudanese medical professionals to successfully engage in Shabaka’s telemedicine program to service civilians in need following the eruption of the war and various challenges in accessing healthcare

The ongoing conflict and violence in Sudan has forced over 8,6 million people to flee their homes, with a majority seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

The civil war is one of the most severe crises the world is experiencing.

Conflict exacerbated in April 2023 after a tussle between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the capital, Khartoum, before spreading across the Northeast African country.

– CAJ News

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