Tourism: Rocket Health telemedicine services aid COVID-19 recovery in Uganda

Rocket Health successfully completed the PEARL project where it provided telemedicine and last-mile medical services to tourists as part of Uganda’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The project financed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was implemented from 1st Jan 2021 to 31st Dec 2021.

Background

The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG) received a USD 25,000 grant as part of the COVID-19 recovery initiatives by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Through our customer-facing brand Rocket Health, we rolled out teleconsultations, mobile laboratory, and medicine delivery services targeting tourist destinations both in Kampala and rural areas across the country.

This was achieved through partnerships and collaboration with different industry sector players.

Activities implemented under the program

Product and service design

Following stakeholder engagements through focus group discussions, we customized medical products and services to cover the health needs of both domestic and international tourists.

These cut across different domains including prevention (anti-malarial therapy, vaccination),  care and treatment (teleconsultations, COVID-19 screening) among others.

The users had an omni-channel of accessing the health services including an online e-Shop where a special corner was designed and deployed for the tourism experience. (check Rocket Health tourist corner here).

In addition, the most sought-after USSD code was popularized as an alternative channel.

Rocket Health USSD code

Rocket Health USSD code

Stakeholder engagements and training

Rocket Health engaged with different sector players during the one-year implementation of the PEARL project including tour and travel operators and guides, and lodges among others.

A stakeholder workshop was conducted to understand the health pain points of the tourism sector players and also explore opportunities for training in relevant medical fields like first aid training. 

Rocket health training

The chief executive officer Uganda Tourism Association, Richard Kawere conducting a presentation on how different key players in the tourism industry interact with each other to address healthcare challenges

Rocket Health conducted a basic life support training for some sector players which was executed in partnership with Emergency Care Courses Ugand, a private capacity building entity in the space of emergency care training.

The attendees who included hotel owners, tours and travel operators, and representatives from airlines among others received training in the resuscitation of drowned persons, handling poisoning, and control of bleeding among others to which end certificates of attendance were issued.

Participants undergoing a training on how to conduct CPR first aid

Participants undergoing a training on how to conduct CPR first aid

Project Impact on Rocket Health services. Analytics: April to December 2021

The majority (73%) of the incoming calls and USSD code requests from the project beneficiaries were requesting COVID-19 PCR tests while 27% of requests for voice calls, USSD code, and E-shop were for pharmaceutical products.

Project Performance

Below is a summary of SRH sales recorded between March 2021 and March 2022.

Teleconsultations from tourists

Teleconsultations from tourists

Laboratory services provided to tourists

Laboratory services provided to tourists

Pharmacy products purchased by tourists

Pharmacy products purchased by tourists

New partnerships developed

We have built strategic partnerships with  tourism stakeholders to expand our market and geographical reach and these include the tourism ministry (Uganda Wildlife Authority), Uganda Tourism Association, The Association of Uganda Tour Operators, The Uganda Hotel Owners’ Association, Uganda Community Tourism Association, The Uganda Association of Travel Agents, Airlines (Uganda Airlines), Safaris (Rambura safaris, Makutano safaris, Wildlife frontiers, Rada safaris, Uganda safaris, Eastern travelog, Africa pearl safaris), Tour and travel companies (Ruhanah tour, Speke Uganda holidays, Ladybird tour lines, Woodland tours, Emirates tours and travel, Engo tours). 

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