The Agency for Universal Health Coverage in Senegal has launched a new digital platform, sunucmu.com. The platform is the first of its kind to have been fully designed and developed by a public agency on a global scale.
L’Agence de Couverture Maladie Universelle du Sénégal (Agency for Universal Health Coverage in Senegal – CMU) (SUNUCMU.com), founded in 2015, 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. In this regard, the CMU decided, four years after its inception, to embrace the era of digitisation of payments as part of its latest phase of active development. It aims to make the system even more efficient and sustainable, hence its announcement today of the launch of its SUNUCMU.com digital platform.
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.
Mahammed Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State, Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency in Senegal, declared “the digital transformation of the CMU is the solution provided by Senegal to address the global issue of universal health coverage. 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. The CMU has contributed to the birth of the IT ecosystem through these various projects.”
Madame Priya Gajraj, UN Resident Coordinator in Senegal, added “the implementation of this platform should accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the one on health. Digital payments are a genuine asset because they reduce costs, increase transactions and facilitate the participation of third parties who want to sign up a close friend or family member or make a donation. 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.”
Senegal’s new social welfare system is innovative, easily accessible and universal to the extent that the public authorities aim, on one hand, to integrate the small-scale market production sector (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.
Mr Mouhamed Mahi SY, the Agency director of IT systems declared: “With the digital transformation of the CMU, we have set ourselves the challenge of achieving more than 75% health coverage in 24 months. We were delighted with the record level of adoption during the awareness-raising sessions with mutual insurers in the region; this has demonstrated that the added value which we are striving to deliver is in tune with expectations in the field.”
This 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. Furthermore, by the end of September, biometric kits will be developed over a two-year period to cover around 3,500 service points.
In November 2018, Mahammed Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State, Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Presidency in Senegal, launched a new agenda for the digitisation of payments for sustainable growth and inclusive development. The announcement was made following the release of a national study on digital payments, published by the Senegalese government, the UN-based Better Than Cash Alliance, and the MM4P (Mobile Money for the Poor) programme of the UNCDF.