Connect with us


UZ student develops app to locate pharmacies



Leo Muchenje

UZ student develops app to locate pharmacies. His pharmacy locator application features an interactive platform that makes life easier for patients who no longer need to worry about moving from one pharmacy to the other searching for medication.

Leo Muchenje, a 24-year-old University of Zimbabwe trainee graduate has developed a web application to provide the public with better access to pharmacies dotted around towns, cities and other parts of rural areas in the country.

“The pharmacy locator is all about making life easier when looking for medicine here in Zimbabwe,” said Muchenje, a Computer Science major. “The major purpose is to help anyone to find the nearest pharmacy which sells the specific medicine that they will be looking for.”

Just by a click of a button, they can locate the drugs they want and make a reservation for them. This innovative app is set to make it easier for the public to access drugs in the country.

“I saw that there was a gap when looking for medicine here in Zimbabwe, there are some emergency cases where there is no time to move around pharmacy by pharmacy looking for medicine. Information on where to find medicine should be readily available to the public,” the young innovator said.

Several pharmacy locator innovations have been developed in the past in various parts of the world to meet various needs. Muchenje’s innovation is particularly unique to the Zimbabwean environment.

“Innovations are already there that provide locations of nearest pharmacies, but they do not provide the stock inside the pharmacies. Our innovation shows the nearest pharmacy that sells the specific medicine that is needed.

“Also it allows the users to see the pharmacies that accept their medical aid and pharmacies that offer delivery of medicine at their homes,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s smartphone penetration is still at 52 percent, compared to about 90 percent for South Africa and 80 percent for Kenya and experts say this remains a limitation for the adoption of digital services in the country by the public, according to a 2020 report by Econet Wireless.

Most people have phones with low data handling capacity despite the increasing digitalisation of the economy. Despite this, Muchenje is upbeat about his pharmacy locator app.

“To account for the issue of mobile data, the application was designed not to use any data when it is not being used. When searching for medicine, it does not require a large amount of data because the information will be provided in text format, not in images,” he said.

“On the other hand, for navigating to a particular pharmacy using Google Maps that’s when a significant amount of data is needed, but it is optional to use Google Maps, those who have data issues can choose not to use the Google Maps.”

His application was uploaded on Google Play Store, but it is not yet available to the public. “It is still under testing mode. Right now we are in the process of recruiting pharmacies to use the platform since it requires input from the pharmacies in order to work. Once we have at least 10 pharmacies on board, the mobile application will then be published to the public.

“The application will be available for Android users, iPhone users, Windows users and it will also be accessed via an internet browser,” the 24-year-old innovator said. Muchenje said the application can be downloaded and used for free by the public.

“Pharmacies will pay a monthly subscription fee to fully use the platform, but that is yet still to be decided. The innovations have been patented,” he said. The University of Zimbabwe Innovation Hub supported him to develop the idea.

“They provided us with an environment that helped us to successfully develop this innovation. They provided weekly mentorship lessons regarding innovations and forming business start–ups,” he said.

“Young researchers need some motivation that’s what they are doing is important for the people here in Zimbabwe. The idea is to provide solutions using ICT for some problems that we have here in Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe has established innovation hubs and technology parks at various institutions as an important vehicle for finding solutions to the country’s pressing problems as well as the attainment of the country’s economic blueprint National Development Strategy 1.

One of the major goals of this, is to create economic opportunity by developing a new generation of young people with an entrepreneurial mind-set. The centres provide them with the tools they need to succeed in a technological world.

“I am so excited that we have finally developed a product that can assist people here in Zimbabwe,” Muchenje said. “The UZ Innovation Hub sparked my interest in developing the app and opened my eyes to impactful possibilities that can be reached with the pharmacy locator application.

“I have a passion to develop programs and applications that can make a difference in the world.”

Source – The Herald

In other news- Mourners manifest at Prophet TB Joshua’s Funeral: Pics

Mourners manifest at Prophet TB Joshua’s Funeral: Pics. A tweet posted by the church on Thursday afternoon suggested that the late Nigerian pastor and televangelist was “still performing miracles” even when he is dead.

Prophet TB Joshua coffin

Mourners reportedly vomited blood and other poisonous substances at TB Joshua’s week-long funeral service as he lies in state at his church, The Synagogue, Church of all Nations (SCOAN) in…Learn More.




Copyright © 2021 -