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GIF pledges support to mClinica’s new initiative during coronavirus crisis

By Madeleine Eastwood, Head of Communications   |   Posted 23rd April 2020

As COVID-19 spreads with startling speed, it is vital that we act swiftly to support those who are on the front lines assisting communities affected around the world.

Today, GIF is proud to announce we are ramping up support for pharmacists in Cambodia and the Philippines via mClinica – a digital health company that has developed mobile technologies that connect pharmacies, empower pharmacy professionals, and improve health outcomes in Asia.

Pharmacies are often the first point of access to modern medical advice and treatment for many in low-and middle-income countries. In the midst of the pandemic, ensuring pharmacists can access accurate information, for application and onward dissemination, plays a huge part in the race to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

mClinica, which joined the GIF portfolio in 2017, will use a grant totalling $140,000 to leverage its networking platform SwipeRx to spread accurate public health messaging to pharmacists in Cambodia and the Philippines.

Described as ‘WeChat meets LinkedIn’, SwipeRx is a free mobile app that gives pharmacists access to the most up to date regional and global pharmacy updates, as well as allowing them to connect with other professionals, look for drug information, and access accredited education. Currently more than 150,000 pharmacy professionals across 40,000 pharmacies in Asia use SwipeRx as a one-stop shop for their daily practice, with the network covering half the pharmacists in the Philippines, and a quarter of those in Cambodia.

To help in the fight against COVID-19, mClinica will use GIF’s grant to:

  • Conduct digital polls through SwipeRx to understand the challenges pharmacies face in responding to the crisis – this information will be made publicly available to key stakeholders, including public health and funding partners.
  • Run COVID-19 awareness campaigns to increase knowledge among pharmacy professionals across the SwipeRx community, including interactive posts, videos, and infographics.
  • Provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) education modules on COVID-19 to empower pharmacists to improve their personal safety, respond to customer queries, and reduce the incidence of misinformation.

Pharmacists around the globe will always be an important channel for public health messaging, however in the current climate their demand has increased incredibly, coupled with being one of only a few public spaces that are currently open. GIF’s flexible funding structure means we can back vital projects swiftly; and we’re proud of the steps mClinica is taking to make a difference towards flattening the demand for critical healthcare during these unprecedented times.