Nigerian eHealth startup, WellaHealth, has partnered with healthcare consultancy Advantage Health Africa (AHA) to provide greater access to rapid malaria testing in Nigeria.

WellaHealth was launched in 2015 by internal medicine physician, Dr Ikpeme Neto as a digital platform that aims to transform African retail pharmacies into quality, engaging health hubs that can speedily manage common infectious and non-infectious illnesses.

WellaHealth was originally set up as a pharmacist facing mobile-based pharmacy automation platform, through which pharmacists could manage their stock and electronic patient records, as well as follow up with their patients via SMS.

In April 2018 WellaHealth expanded their service to cater for patients with suspected malaria, a mosquito-carried disease that affects millions of Nigerians and costs the Nigerian economy over $2 billion annually. Official guidelines from the WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health recommend that treatment with a course of an antimalarial medication only be started after it has been diagnosed via a test. Accessing this test can often be time consuming and expensive.

By visiting the WellaHealth website, patients can select their symptoms and then be directed to a nearby, WellaHealth partner pharmacy where they can do a rapid malaria test that takes 10 minutes. If their result is positive, the pharmacy provides them with a malaria care pack consisting of anti-malarial drugs, pain and fever medication, as well as information and follow-up healthcare options to ensure recovery.

The rapid malaria test service is also available via WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook’s free basics platform and SMS.

Through the new partnership with AHA, customers who use WellaHealth’ s rapid malaria care service will be able to get their malaria test and drugs more conveniently at over 700 community pharmacies in the retail pharmacy network project managed by AHA.

“This partnership enables the general public to have quicker access to quality malaria testing and drugs at their convenience anywhere in Nigeria,” said Dr Neto.

“The malaria rapid diagnostic test promoted by WellaHealth is done in just 10 minutes with instant treatment given after a positive result. With WellaHealth leveraging on the broad network of participating pharmacies under AHA, the total number of pharmacies where this service can now be accessed stands at approximately 1,000,” continued Dr Neto.

According to Dr Neto, the service is covered by a number of Nigerian health insurance plans and is also affordable for patients to pay directly out of pocket.

“The collaboration between our firms is an innovation that will bring growth to the health sector,” concluded CEO of AHA, Abimbola Adebakin.

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