Nathan Wajega is out to change how Ugandans receive medical care. As a pharmacist for the last decade, Nathan noticed a gap in the way that basic ailments were treated. In the current system, patients have to leave their jobs, wait at clinics for extended periods of time, and then pay for overpriced medication to treat their illnesses. With a passion for entrepreneurship and technology, Nathan is launching Mzima HX, an app that will close the gap and make healthcare affordable, accessible, and reliable for its users.
Mzima HX will allow patients to communicate with doctors on their phones through text messages, phone calls, or video conferencing. The doctors can diagnose basic ailments, and then either collect samples or send affordable medication directly to the patients using motorcycles.
Revolutionizing healthcare accessibility is not something that Nathan takes lightly. He sees a social and economic roadblock in his community, and he is using his God-given entrepreneurial skills to address the issue. This system will not just solve a problem for patients. It will provide an important income stream for medical doctors. In Uganda, it is not uncommon for doctors to work second jobs to ensure steady and stable income. Nathan sees this as a big disadvantage to the healthcare system. Working two jobs does not give doctors the focus necessary for such a high-pressure career.
This app will also change the experiences of nurses. Nathan says, “Nurses provide an essential service, but unfortunately, healthcare policy makers hardly include them in key decisions and support systems. They are not well paid, yet they work long hours. We have worked out a system where they can earn commission through services like first aid to boost their incomes. The Bible says that the last shall be first, and we need to put nurses first through this approach.”
Sinapis’ entrepreneurship training played an essential role in Mzima HX by helping Nathan define his target market and create a business plan. In August 2019, Nathan presented Mzima HX in Sinapis’ first Business Plan Competition in Uganda. Nathan won the competition and the $10,000 of seed funding that comes with it.
There has never been a bigger need for services like Mzima HX. In the midst of a global pandemic, telehealth services allow access to medical professionals while limiting exposure of people who are sick. Not only is it convenient, telehealth services have the ability to save lives. Nathan sees COVID-19 as an opportunity to serve his community. They are looking into ways to serve a broader customer segment who may not have access to smartphones. “There is a great opportunity for telemedicine because of Covid-19, and we want to meet that need.”
Mzima HX aspires to breathe new life into the Ugandan healthcare system by focusing on what truly matters – people.