Latwell Nyangu

A HARARE community pharmacist has devised a platform for ordinary citizens to order drugs from pharmacies from the comfort of their homes.

Shingirai Swiswa, who is a community pharmacist, came up with the idea and launched ‘Mushonga Go,’ with the help of his colleagues.

He said he saw how desperate clients get when they wander from one pharmacy to the other looking for medication, sometimes to no avail, wasting their time and fuel.

“With pharmacy colleagues, we decided to create a platform for personalising and finding medicines across Zimbabwean pharmacies in October 2021.

“At times, physicians may prescribe difficult-to-find medicines which are critical for the survival of a patient.

“So, hopping from place to place can be compromising,” he said.

Swiswa said from their pilot project ran in March this year.
They have about 150 pharmacies onboard, across 16 cities and towns, serving close to 500 inquiries from clients.

“If the pharmacy doesn’t have the medication product in situ, it can place an order for the client when they book, or say yes or no.

“It is easy to access, for now, it is a WhatsApp chatbot where one can send a medicine inquiry or prescription.

“They say Hi or Wakadini or Unjani to +263715020503, choose a client, and follow the prompts till they send the inquiry to pharmacies in their location.

“We shall diversify soon to allow users in remote areas to also process inquiries so that they know pharmacies in their vicinity with medicine products.”

He added:
“We still have a lot of ground to cover, so far, we operate in 16 cities, most providers being in Harare.

“Pharmacies are traditionally the first port of call for many clients before a referral is done to other healthcare professionals.

“So, we have to be easily accessible to the public. It is their right to access medicines.”

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