This week, our spotlight falls on an amazing app called Moja App. Moja is a Twi word that simply means ‘blood’. The name of the app is deeply connected with its features and functions. Moja App is health app that seeks to motivate people to donate blood to replenish the stock of the National Blood Service (NBS). It does this by creating a virtual hospital where people can get easy access to qualified medical practitioners through live chats, virtual clinics, daily health tips etc.
Often, people are only moved to donate blood when there are emergencies or when the NBS runs out of stock. An app like this can help establish the culture of voluntary blood donation in this country so that there will be blood available always for medical use.
We had a brief interview with the CEO of 233apps, Ernest Gavor, who is responsible for this innovation.
Excerpts of the interview:
Can you tell us briefly your journey so far as a tech-entrepreneur?
Ernest Gavor: Well, I have a very interesting background with computers. I took to computers way back in high school and went on and on till I founded my 1st business called iBase Systems, then located at Bubiashie, that was 2009. The concept then was to create a Tech Incubator. That did not exactly fly though it has not been totally abandoned. The current business I run, 233apps Ltd specialises in cloud and mobile apps and that is where moja was birthed. Moja came about when we were exploring for opportunities to make an impact on society. Our business 233apps is all about impact on various facets of life – including business, society and ultimately humanity.
What motivated you to develop this app?
Ernest Gavor: We got to know the challenge the National Blood Service was facing recruiting volunteer blood donors. The NBS’s mandate to collect blood to ensure you and I have safe reliable blood for therapeutic use when the need arises is challenged because of few voluntary donations recorded. You see, science has made significant progress and discoveries over the years. Unfortunately, scientists are yet to invent blood. So what that means is that anytime there is need for blood at our hospitals during surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and newborn cases, blood must come from one human being to be used. That makes blood such an important “commodity” in our health sector as a society and nation.
How hard was it to communicate this to your team to get them to work with the same level of passion and zeal as you?
Ernest Gavor: Knowing how crucial blood is in ensuring a healthy and safe society, my team had no difficulties whatsoever jumping on board and making it happen for Ghana, Africa and the World at large
Tell us about the members of the team that work on the Moja app
Ernest Gavor: The team is made of very dedicated young innovative Ghanaians with skills in app development and business, supported by partners with expertise in health, among others.
How does the app work?
Ernest Gavor: So, to clarify, it is not an app for blood transfusion per se. That may literally sound like you can connect your mobile device to your body and get blood transfused. (Maybe we will get there some day).
MoJa is a mobile app that seeks a healthy and smart society through the power of mobile technology. MoJa incentivizes individuals to donate blood by providing free access to qualified medical practitioners through live chats, virtual clinics, daily health tips etc. The cloud based app with back-end makes it possible for the National Blood Service to keep its stock replenished, search, match and conveniently contact inspired donors, in case of emergencies. Donors who are brought on board the app through aggressive outreach and social media campaigns have access to the national database of volunteer donor, to search and find their match in case of need for transfusion. MoJa donors are encouraged to help recruit their friends and win stripes. Corporate sponsors provide awards for MoJa donors based on points earned through number of active new MoJa donors they bring onboard.
What are some of the topics that will feature in the app’s daily health tips?
Ernest Gavor: The health tips are posted by our Doctors who determine what issues are topical and need addressing. The tips would essentially touch on every aspect of health and are tailored based on the app users’ preferences
Are donors given access to data concerning blood donation exercises? like the number of people with diseased blood etc
Ernest Gavor: Not at all
No user data is exposed to other users
Where do you see the app in the next 5 years?
In the next five years, moja app will become the prefered way of receiving non – emergency health care in Africa and the world at large. We intend to increase healthcare access and affordability. It should be possible to access the services of specialists regardless of one’s geographical location. So a cardiologist is Accra can assist a patient in Bole and a gynecologist in London can advise a pregnant woman in Nzulezu.