Innovative entrepreneurs turn sofware development into an ‘all-winners’ tripartite alliance between doctors and specialists, pharmacies and patients
The Sunday Express
This week your favourite newspaper features one of the most innovative services for the convenience of healthcare provision for Zimbabweans – powered by Zimbabweans living and working in the diaspora.
Kwali4U is a new service which allows users the peace of mind to pay for medical services from anywhere across the globe – while changing the face and operations of Zimbabwe’s healthcare and medical services transactions – through whatsapp.
After spending a few months with our new products division to discover how innovations by Zimbabweans in the diaspora have transformed cross-border transactions through secure financial networks – we came across Kwali4U – and have been blown away by how the outfit has redefined this word: convenience.
Convenience for the sender of money: easy to join and use, peace of mind, and making sure that money sent for medication is used for what it is intended for.
And trust of convenience where medication can be dispersed by a service provider in an emergency – even where money sent from abroad has not been received by the partner.
Kwali4U basically links patients in Zimbabwe – beneficiaries – with their families in the diaspora – benefactors – to a network of Kwali4U partners (who are health service providers) – doctors, specialists and pharmacies, and Kwali4U partners – onto a simless whatsapp service for the benefit of all three in a triangle of healthcare service provision amongst the stakeholders.
In changing the healthcare services industry – what is clear is the amount of business thought that has gone into Kwali4U – operating in the financial transactions industry where diaspora remittances to Zimbabwe jumped 58 percent in 2020 – reaching about $1 billion dollars, the highest ever contribution made to the local economy in recent years.
State media in Zimbabwe is reporting that – due to improved remittances inflows, Zimbabwe managed to record a current account surplus – a development which assisted the country to cover gaps left by trade disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Bank – in its latest Zimbabwe Economic Update – said that remittances were now a key contributor to the country’s balance sheet and providing resilience to global trade shocks in a generally volatile trading environment.
A key driver of the surplus in Zimbabwe’s inflows was remittances in 2020, which saw a growth of 58 percent, with currency experts saying that the increase in formal remittances reflected the shift to greater use of official channels for remittance delivery to Zimbabwe.
In other words diaspora remittances have overtaken foreign aid in the amount of money being contributed to the country’s economy where an estimated 2.5 to 3 million Zimbabweans live in other countries, with neighboring South Africa being the biggest contributor of foreign currency inflow into Zimbabwe.
While remittances have been used for everything from groceries, school fees, building materials as well as household goods and developmental purposes – Kwali4U had unveiled a product which was uniquely suited to solving major headaches in Zimbabwe’s healthcare sector – through ready-to-use solutions.
In observing the unique innovation that is Kwali4U – our conclusion is that this is what the industry gets when one combines product experts in web and mobile applications, engineering, financial systems, software development and apply those into solving complex issues in healthcare provision and a cushion where sometimes money was abused, wasted or not used for what it was meant for.
How it works:
Low transaction costs – Kwali charges a 5% transaction fee of any remitted amount, which is about 5% more affordable compared to mainstream money transfer services.
The company focuses exclusively on the remittance of medical funds – Kwali4U has been rolled out at this stage to connect: the benefactor (a Zimbabwean in the diaspora) to send money to the beneficiary (a Zimbabwean resident in Zimbabwe and in need of healthcare).
Once the funds are received they are kept in a Kwali4U wallet accessible through WhatsApp, and only utilised for medical expenses at a Kwali4U-approved partner.
A key aspect of the service is the immediate access to funds – once a benefactor sends money to a beneficiary, the beneficiary will have access to those funds – immediately. There is no waiting in line for cash collection, and no currency conversions are required.
The diversity of the service was now that: since its introduction, benefactors had indicated that in some instances they would also like to have their beneficiaries covered by Medical Aid in Zimbabwe.
Kwali4U had since responded to this by extending the service where benefactors can now pay for medical aid contributions for their beneficiaries in Zimbabwe.
“You can expect to learn more about our company, how our WhatsApp-based payment gateway works, how you can get involved and we will also share company news about our team, partners, beneficiary/benefactor success stories and our milestones as a startup company, so stay tuned and consider following our social media platforms and/or subscribing to our mailing list so that you’re notified when we publish new posts for you,” a statement from the company said this week.
“In a few weeks we are rolling out the tele-doctors app where one can do a pre-consultation on whatsapp before actually going to the doctor. Kwali4U is just in the beginning of what we fully intends to do with the Zim medical industry,” the statement said.
One of the partners – Victor Chiriga from Harare’s Chemayde Pharmacy – told DJ Loshto at CapiTalk Radio that Kwali4U had emphasised the convenience of the service to the generality of Zimbabweans in the diaspora paying for their relatives and parents in Zimbabwe and that the service was open to anyone seeking to solve the issue of misused money.
“It is a payment unlike many other money remittance agencies because in this case, money is used for exactly what it was sent for, and nothing else. Once deposited into the Kwali4U system, payment takes only seconds before it reflects with our partners, and the patients can receive services immediately.
“The depth of the trust in the transaction is that the pharmacy can even disperse medicine immediately but we know that with Zimbabwean medical aid societies, payments can drag on even for one month. That’s the difference, and more,” Chiriga said.
Another user, Admire Manyere said that registration for Kwali4U was easy – anyone could get onto the system. Once registered I was given a list of pharmacies where I could go to and buy medicines.
“Kwali4U is here to change the game. We are yet to see the full extent to how this service is changing the game in Zimbabwe’s healthcare industry, but for those who are already on the network – the benefits themselves cannot be over-estimated,” said Manyere.
Registration on Kwali is free, simply send a WhatsApp message “Hi” to our number +27 61 523 4773 or (+263) 77 981 2751. Check out www.kwali4u.com/
List of Zimbabwe Kwali4U Healthcare Service Providers, and Partners
1st Floor Acropol Building, Robert Mugabe Way, Zvishavane
Fife Avenue Shopping Centre, Shop No. 1 Athenitis, Fifth Street, Cnr Fife Avenue, Harare
15658 Zandile House Glasgow Road Commercial/Industrial, Chinhoyi
Charter House, Cnr Leopold Takawira & Fort Street, Bulawayo
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