Agency for Universal Health Coverage in Senegal Launches Digital Platform to Boost Access to Medical Care in Africa

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L’Agence de Couverture Maladie Universelle du Sénégal (The Agency for Universal Health Coverage in Senegal – CMU), also known as SUNUCMU, has launched a new digital platform aimed at boosting access to medical care across various parts of the African continent.

The entirely Senegalese digital platform is the first of its kind to have been fully designed and developed by a public agency on a global scale.

Founded in 2015, the initiative is part of the government’s programme to accelerate the country’s economic and social development.

Senegal, alongside Ghana and Rwanda, is leading the way in Africa in the advancement of universal health coverage.

At a time when digital infrastructure is developing, digitisation has become essential and must be considered as a source of added value for organisations.

This electronic initiative, carried out with the support of several partners, falls within the scope of the agenda for the digitisation of payments which Mahammed Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State, Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency in Senegal, launched in November 2018.

“The digital transformation of the CMU is the solution provided by Senegal to address the global issue of universal health coverage,” explained Dionne.

“The launch of SUNUCMU.com is part of the agenda for the digitisation of payments which Senegal initiated in November 2018. Its main objective is to enhance the quality of life of its population; moreover, its development was entirely undertaken by national start-ups,” he added.

Madame Priya Gajraj, UN Resident Coordinator in Senegal, added that the implementation of this platform should accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the one on health.

“The three key issues for the success of this initiative are its immediate availability, ability to raise awareness and transparency in terms of adoption by the population as a whole,” she continued.

Senegal’s new social welfare system has been described as innovative, easily accessible and universal to the extent that the public authorities aim, on one hand, to integrate informal sector into the social security system and, on the other, achieve universal health coverage. Welfare protection schemes are therefore required to continue the process of modernisation and, at the same time, expand their scope and offer more services.

“With the digital transformation of the CMU, we have set ourselves the challenge of achieving more than 75% health coverage in 24 months,” noted Mr Mouhamed Mahi SY, the Agency Director of IT Systems.

The launch will be supplemented in June by the availability of a mobile app. At the same time, all healthcare providers in Senegal will be geo-located, thus enabling all Senegalese to find the most competent specialist closest to their location.

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