Tech Paves the Way for Women’s Health Empowerment


Women bear an invisible burden on which society utterly depends – ensuring they take care of their physical and mental health should be a priority.

The disproportions include factors like; earning money, caring for children and the elderly, cooking and cleaning. Much of this burden is invisible, adds to their strain, and puts them at risk of suffering from physical or mental illnesses.

Research by KinderCare indicates that 75% of mothers with children under 18 work full-time, with 86% of working mothers saying they are in charge of all domestic and family duties. A high proportion of them—a staggering 92%—say they feel overwhelmed by the challenge of balancing workplace, parenting and domestic responsibilities.

Regardless of the challenges, technology paves a way for an alternative outcome for women across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kena Health App is designed to provide women with access to a range of health care assistance from the push of a button. The services available on the app include treatment plans, medical advice from Doctors, referrals to specialists, ongoing support for chronic illnesses, and sicknotes. Appointments can be made directly from the app, which replaces the need to have an in-person meeting with a general practitioner.

“These figures paint a picture of a group that is overstretched and under strain. Mental and physical ailments are inevitable and yet they tend to be pushed aside because there is just too much to do or the cost is too high,” says Kena Health’s Clinical Care Lead,  Chido Siame adding; “But given their outsize role, women’s health is not just a personal issue but one that is existential for society as a whole.”

Another benefit of the app is its function which allows mothers to access medical care for their children in this same way.

Although the gender pay gap is gradually closing, the World Economic Forum estimates that it will take Sub-Saharan Africa at least 102 years to close the gap completely. This puts women at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing expensive private healthcare.

Considering 84% of South Africans do not have medical aid, many turn to the public sector. The public healthcare system is plagued by long waiting times that many working women simply do not have time for.

Treatment in the public sector is often not substantial when compared to what is available in the private sector.

Chido Siame believes that the application of technology in healthcare appears to be promising for the future of women’s healthcare saying: “There is hope in the midst of what seems to be very dire – the emergence of technology-based healthcare companies like Kena Health that totally disrupt the existing healthcare paradigm.”

The Kena Health app revolutionizes healthcare and mental health counseling by providing women with rapid access to high-quality medical professionals in a totally confidential and secure setting – and at a highly affordable rate of R 185 per consultation, a fraction of the cost of most private GPs and therapists.

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