My interest was piqued when I heard that there is actually a mobile app in Botswana that assists in first aid matters. This is an innovative and helpful way to use technology that allows one to have pertinent medical information at their fingertips. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the BotsAid App’s co-founders Mrs Mosina. She created the App alongside her husband Dr Mosina. The husband and wife team are currently residing in Ghanzi, Botswana.
Omphile: Why was the App created? Basically what brought about the need to make the App?
Mrs Mosina: The idea of a first aid app came about because of our older son’s allergies. He is allergic to a few things but mostly to maize/corn. Maize and maize starch are commonly found in many foods including spice mix, yoghurt drinks, chips and sauces.
My husband was often away from home due to his job, so I was alone with our two children. Being new to the area, I had no friends or family close by. I was worried about our son getting sick. That I would be the one that would have to act fast to save him.
That’s when I started to research first aid. I decided that I needed something on my phone for easy access. Then I decided that getting an app would be a great idea. However, none of the apps that I saw was quite right for my area/location. So I decided to make my own with a little help from my husband. To highlight things that are relevant to us and the people of this country.
O: Can you tell me a bit about your background – Career wise?
M: My husband is a medical officer. I am presently a stay at home mother who studied early childhood education and worked in ICT sales at Fujitsu.
O: How are you aiming to help people with the App?
M: My hope is that people will use the app to help themselves and their loved ones in cases of accidents and emergencies. Especially those living in remote villages and cattle posts. The app can also be utilized in cases of traffic accidents where sometimes hospital or clinics are many kilometres away.
With the app, one can find all the emergency numbers for Botswana and all public hospitals and 24-hour clinics. This can save precious time in saving a life and greatly improving the survival rate when unforeseen events occur.
It’s also beneficial to tourists who can easily find health facilities with no hassle of a language barrier. It’s important to note that we added non -emergency cases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and Suicide to build awareness around these topics because they are important to us as a people.
O: How have people in Botswana received the App?
M: The sad reality is that more often than not, many of us do not take our health seriously until something horrible happens. Not many people see the need to have a first aid app on their phone. Many people are very excited about the app and all that it offers, but won’t download it until they have an emergency.
So downloads have been slow. We do hope one day that more people will see the importance of first aid knowledge and the fact that it can help to save someone’s life, even their own. We want to encourage people to be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE. Being prepared may very well save your life.
O: How can people access the First Aid App?
M: The app is android based and is available free in Google Play Store.
O: Where do you see the BotsAid App in 5 years?
M: We’re currently working to have the app on the IOS platform. We are also working on issues that people are experiencing, for example, our offline access.
We have a BotsAid First Aid Book. It’s presently an e-book that is personalized (signed by us and user name added). We are currently searching for a local publisher for hardcovers.
This app is a great little tool to have and I would like to reach more people but that is quite a marketing task for 2 people who live far away from the business hub of Gaborone.
Our ultimate hope is that the app will be utilized by the Ministry of Health for further expansion where it can:
• Help with the dissemination of information in real time (Limits Paper Trails).
• Educate the general public about health related issues.
• Generate the public’s interest in health care.
All these could ultimately lead to people taking better care of themselves. Long term benefits could see an increase in students’ interest in becoming health care professionals. More important, it would be amazing to see a reduction in incidents of death related accidents/emergencies.
Technology is a powerful tool that we can use to improve lives. That is our ultimate goal and we would love to see the BOTSAID APP play a role in helping people throughout Botswana.
O: Any parting words you would like to add for Batswana/ people living in Botswana?
M: We are always listening to the public as to any health-related issue that they would like to see in the app. I remember one user asking me to put BP/Cholesterol check in the app; I updated the app with that information the same day. So kindly contact the BotsAid Family with any changes that you would like to see in the app. Help Someone, Don’t Be Afraid, Get BotsAid!
The BotsAid app given the opportunity could change and save lives. Because it gives the right information at the right time. So take time today to download it onto your phone so you too can have access to all the information it has to offer. It is customized for people living in Botswana, and the added bonus is that it is Free! So let’s go out and support local, thereby enriching and empowering ourselves too.
If you want to get in touch with the BotsAid Family online, please see their areas of contact below.
The BotsAid App Contact Details:
(Click on the links and it’ll take you there)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: botsaidbw
- Facebook: The BotsAid App-First Aid Mobile Application for Botswana
- Google Play Store Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.botsaid
*It’s not a direct service so our phone number is usually available upon request*