UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency and ride-hailing company SafeBoda have launched an e-Shop that will enable users in Kampala and Wakiso districts to order and receive reproductive health commodities at their doorsteps.
The “Personal Health Shop,” is available through the SafeBoda app.
Users can order condoms, contraceptives pills, HIV test kits, pregnancy test kits and Mama Kits conveniently and privately during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the economic, social and logistical barriers that women and young people face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services.
Supply chains for reproductive health commodities have been interrupted, resulting in delays in ensuring last mile delivery of essential health commodities to health facilities and community distribution points.
Alain Sibenaler, the UNFPA Representative noted that the e-shop initiative, which is supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda is one of the ways that UNFPA is stepping up to address such challenges.
“For UNFPA delivering a package of Integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health services is critical, more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have had to re-think and become more innovative in reaching young people and women with sexual and reproductive health-related information and services,” Sibenaler said.
“Our partnership with SafeBoda has expanded the possibilities of using digital solutions to solve real time problems. Through Personal Health we are able to deliver reproductive health commodities right to people’s doorsteps at the click of a button,” he explained.
The Personal Health e-shop is one of several e-shops available on the SafeBoda app. To order for a product a user has to have downloaded the SafeBoda app.
They then place an order and pay using SafeBoda credit through mobile money.
Once this is done, the closest pharmacy within a seven kilometre radius that has the item in stock is identified and linked to the nearest SafeBoda driver.
The driver then picks up the item and delivers it to the user.
“Sexual and Reproductive Health has long term impacts on overall health and development at a personal and macro level. Our partnership with UNFPA gives us an opportunity to empower communities by making sexual and reproductive health knowledge and products accessible to people across socio-economic groups,” said Ricky Rapa Thompson the co-founder of SafeBoda.
To ensure continued access to reproductive health commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic, all reproductive health items ordered through the Personal Health shop will be delivered free of charge.
In addition, free condoms currently provided by the government can also be ordered through Personal Health.
Post COVID-19, users will still be able to purchase reproductive health commodities using the Personal Health e-shop from pharmacies listed on the shop app and pay a nominal delivery fee.