With few health facilities in rural settings and limited reach of health information we not only provide basic human right to health information but also encourage Mozambicans to be proactive about their health, rather than wait until the issue is extreme. When health concern appears, they enter PENSA to get information or submit questions. For serious issues, they can find the location and contact details of the nearest health center. PENSA is particularly relevant, given: - Low physician density: 25,000 patients per physician (average); - Impractical outreach awareness campaigns: which are slow and resource-intensive due to the materials and personnel required to visit all the rural areas; - Inadequacy of conventional technologies: TV & Radio are expensive as a continuous means of communication and many citizens don’t own TV’s or radios; While Internet reaches only (the richer) 10% of the population.
According to our telecommunications regulator, over 80% of Mozambican adults and adolescents posess cellphones, turning it into the ideal vehicle through which to deliver services and solutions to the citizens. Of these cellphone-holders, however, only 20% have smartphones, a third have feature phones, and the rest (the majority) have basic phones. These different devices, and inconsistent network coverage, makes conventional mobile apps less adequate for our reality. Through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)--a technology available on all cellphones--we avail to citizens pertinent push & pull health information provided by the Ministry of Health (MOH), and even employ the MOH call center to respond citizen's questions. This is particularly relevant given the costs and distances required to reach the health centers, which often deters the underprivileged from going until their health issues is very severe.