MTN Zambia Launches Hello Doctor. Necessary?


So today MTN Zambia launched their SMS based health service called MTN Doctor providing the following service according to a post on their Facebook page :

Service Name Keyword
Pregnancy tips PREG
Muscle building tips MUS
Healthy eating tips EAT
Weight loss tips LOSE
Quit smoking tips QUIT
Get Fit tips GETFIT
Male Tips MAN
Female Tips WOMAN
Tips to fall pregnant GETBABY
Healthy kids tips CHILD DOB e.g. child 02/11/2012
Hypertension Tips HIGHBLOOD
Gain weight Tips GAIN

To subscribe SMS the keyword to 570. You will only be charged K1 per day for receiving each type of the health tip subscribed to.

While many of you may argue it seems unnecessary (as I did initially), think about it. You only said that because you can Google what you need to know easily on your phone or PC. Then think again, how many people actually have phones that connect to the internet? Not that many right?

It’s a Value Added Service (VAS) that they have brought to the Zambian people especially those who can’t access the net, but can use their phones for SMS. Problem is, I don’t think that section of the population, assuming that it’s low-income, can spare a K1 for health tips, when they probably live in an area with a lot of people who can give them advice.

However, Hello Doctor not a compulsory service. You don’t HAVE to sign up. Only when you feel like it.

The only hope we have is that the service won’t be mysteriously activated for people who do not sign up for it, as has been claimed by most customers on previous VAS offered by mobile operators. We don’t want to have people complaining they are being stolen from, do we now? Have you signed up yet? Will you at all?

Image Credit: MTN Zambia Facebook Page


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