Jordan’s Altibbi has announced it is to provide free telehealth consultations for Beirut residents “to support the overstretched healthcare system in Lebanon.” This comes following the devastating explosions that recently took place in the capital.
Dubbing itself as the “first and largest platform in the Arab region that offers telemedicine consultation services”, Altibbi will provide the free Arabic-language consultations for a month, allowing anyone who needs medical assistance to connect directly with doctors via audio calls or online chat. Those requiring the service can visit altibbi.com/consultation or download the app after which they will be connected with a doctor “within minutes”.
CEO Jalil Allabadi explained: “Telehealth has proven vital with its ability to surpass physical boundaries to support the masses: from empowering governments with their fight against the spreading of COVID-19 to aiding a country in need of humanitarian healthcare aid.
“We hope that this initiative by Altibbi would help ease the burden on hospitals and healthcare centres by providing remote medical assistance. Cases that do not require immediate in-person attention or ones that need follow-up care will highly benefit from this, especially since the priority right now is for people still suffering from injuries and other urgent cases.”
THE LARGER CONTEXT
This is not the first time that Altibbi has offered free health services in recent times. Last month, the startup announced a partnership with UNICEF to offer free telemedicine consultations for 3,000 at-risk youth. It also promised to provide information on disease prevention, including COVID-19, as well as scaled-up mental health and wellbeing services.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical need to provide reliable, quality healthcare to young people to support their physical and mental health,” said Ettie Higgins, deputy representative of UNICEF Jordan at the time of launch. “UNICEF’s partnership with Altibbi will empower young women and men, who are at the most critical juncture in their lives, with the services and information they need to be healthy and successful.”
WHY IT MATTERS
Startups and multinational companies of all sectors have been stepping in to assist with aid and other help since the Beirut incident that resulted in more than 178 lives lost or missing, injured thousands, and destroyed or damaged the homes of some 300,000 residents.
In terms of healthcare for example, one of the biggest companies to have come forward has been the German multinational Siemens AG, which has supported the country with free medical systems and electric power. Siemens Healthineers donated the ultrasound systems, Acuson NX2 and Juniper, and mobile X-ray device, Mobilett Mira to local hospitals in Beirut.
“We want to provide rapid, focused support to help relieve people’s suffering quickly and with no red tape,” said Siemens AG President and CEO, Joe Kaeser. “Medical systems and electric power are vital here, and Siemens can supply both. As a global company, we feel a clear obligation to support the country and its people in this difficult situation.”