EconetHealth launches EcoHealth Tips

Nigel Gambanga Avatar

EcoHealth-1Earlier today, EconetHealth, the health services subsidiary of Econet Wireless launched a new product called EcoHealth Tips at a ceremony attended by various stakeholders in the health sector including officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

The new offering provides health related information via USSD to subscribers who sign up for the new feature on their Econet lines. The service can be accessed by dialing *300# and following the prompts after.

For 5 cents a day EcoHealth Tips subscribers will receive a daily tip in line with the category that a subscriber chooses. Categories currently available are Live Well, Lose Weight, Stress, Women’s Health and Diabetes.

The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr Paul Chimedza, who was the guest of honour at the product launch applauded Econet’s involvement in the community through the launch of relevant products that improve the lives of Zimbabweans. He welcomed partnerships that aided in health care delivery including tech solutions that give access to information necessary to combat health risks.

Officials from Econet who included CEO Douglas Mboweni and the head of EconetHealth Dr Lunga spoke on the benefits the service will bring in integrating technology to health delivery and the opportunities that are being explored to effectively use information gathered by the services.

EcoHealth Tips marks the latest in health related services that Econet will be launching. Previously the MNO had significant success with its Energise The Chain initiative that focused on energy solutions for vaccines. According to Econet officials EconetHealth shall be launching another product that ties in with EcoHealth Tips within the next 90 days.

What are your thoughts on this new service? How much of a difference do you think it will make in the lives of its users?


  1. fourwallsinaroom

    I would never pay for this. I would rather get a facebook bundle and subscribe / like pages such as or if i was a woman just to give two examples

    5c a day is only $1.50 but really am I getting anything at all that I can not get already on facebook? Facebook lets face it has everything, from what to watch on tv, whats showing at the movies, romance, current affairs, consolidated news etc. Thats just me though.

  2. App Bendr

    The service is welcome. I understand somebody took their time to develop this but this is not the kind of innovation we expect from you. We expect you to lead by bold examples, not half backed USSD hacks. The EcoHealth initiative, while commendable, is the kind of innovation we expect from a wanna be developer, not a technology giant like Econet! #CanDoBetter

    1. true

      True here, econet is throttling the whole market, they want to be everything, they do not want to allow independent entrepreneurs to survive in the ecosystem. Izvi ndozvevanawo izvi kwete varume vakuru

      1. fourwallsinaroom

        I agree whole heartedly. Was just looking at tmobile usa, att and t and some other companies. They are busy reshuffling spectrum and giving users great things. Hell they even have HD voice now! Econet, what are you doing with LTE right now? For the few who get dongles?… no voice support. When I first saw Ecohealth I was chuffed because I thought hey it could be health insurance to compete with CIMAS and First Mutual. Alas no

        1. Farai

          Don’t give Econet ideas about a med aid scheme….EcoMed… 😛

    2. The King

      I’m a bit lost here, what’s your definition of USSD hack?

  3. ngth

    How much money is this seriously going to make econet, instead of trying to take every tiny idea why don’t they allow their USSD platform to be used by NGOs or startups who can really benefit from creating such a service. It is embarrassing that a company the size of econet thinks this is a achievement and are willing to actively block startup innovation so they can monopolise this sort of content.

  4. munyar


    1. Anonymous

      @munyar, what did they steal from you. They do this everyday. Maybe we should start a community petition. Not necessarily to get monetary compensation but to get the word out there. Masiiwa should also be made aware on what his guys in Zimbabwe are doing, that is if he does not know already.

      1. Farai

        He knows. He knows how Econet is performing, what products are launched, services rendered, etc.

  5. Brighton

    What Idea you are referring is stolen …. there is nothing new and no rocket science here unless any one has proof that you discussed this with Econet and showed them the plan etc .. SHAME ON YOU BIG SHAME ON YOU ALL COWARDS who rather appreciating some one who is doing something good for our nation , you are trying to pull them down

    1. Chingoka

      No pulling anyone down here. But ever heard a proverb about teaching how to Fish? Econet is killing the Developer community. This is not innovation at all and I can assure you, no significant money is going to come out of this service, not by Econet Standard. This idea seems like something that they could have offered local developers to come up with a solution and gain some recognition and experience in doing so. That way, they are giving back to the community through teaching. Not through ‘stealing’ or ‘innovating’ this very small idea. How do you not get this?

      1. L.S.M Kabweza


      2. Beatnyama

        My comment is from someone based in Namibia and I understand what most people are saying about opening up platforms to developers. MTC (Econet equivalent here) has decided to take a different approach, they opened up everything to developers like us to create these kinds of simple “USSD hacks” as somebody called them. MTC themselves rarely launch these kinds of products because they left it to developers to innovate and create brilliant solutions on their own.

        This means innovation and ICT grows because of an enabling environment. What Econet is doing is stiffling that innovation.

      3. Brighton

        I agree and already mentioned its not rocket science and nothing new mHealth is there from decade in many countries and also if you combine there last effort of Health where keeping vaccines at bts tower now health tips next as indicated many more to come on this space and who has stopped other 2 operators to do anything for my country and my people

  6. Farai

    They should stick to providing telecoms

  7. mellisa

    WHERE ARE THE DEVELOPERS IN ZIM??? Have they pitched their ideas forward? why don’t they go to Telecel or Netone, the more “friendly” companies??? don’t moan of “stolen ideas” that nobody has came forward with. if Econet has started this, then let them be…

    1. App Bendr

      I’m not the type to cry about stolen ideas, ideas are infinity. Everywhere I turn, I see a potential idea waiting to be developed. But the real argument here is not about stolen ideas. The question is, is Econet doing enough to support local talent?

      I think Econet is killing the local developer Community! When you are a big brother in your family, it doesn’t give you the right to grab all the food and starve your minors just because you are stronger and can eat faster. The idea is to create a more sustainable tech environment.

      When you think of it carefully, you will realize that it’s actually to the benefit of Econet for it to create an enabling environment for developers. Because that would spur a vibrant developer ecosystem in Zimbabwe.
      Once you have that ecosystem, you will have a stronger and more exposed pool of local talent and eventually, there won’t be any need to outsource “doable” projects to Comviva and some such other Indian based companies.

      1. Brighton

        THERE IS NO STOLEN IDEA SO LETS DONT EVEN TALK ……. now on the front of local talent pool I agree that should be given chance but we also need to understand and agree on what is the limit for local talent as an individual and we need to have more local companies who develop platform like Obopay used by Telecash and comviva by Econet …. , Big players cant take billion dollar risk to use individual developed systems; local companies back support is needed and also needs confidence and demonstration of capability , otherwise as business man I cant take risk to use any system

        1. App Bendr

          To eliminate risk is easy, empower the local developers! You empower them by letting them do ‘small’ projects like EcoHealth. In time, you will have confidence in them. Now when you do every small project by yourself, how do you expect the small guys to learn?

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  11. Anne

    Econet never misses a chance to make money off people… they tell you the ebola information is free and make out like they are doing the public a service, but the only people they are serving is themselves! to get Ebola info you have to sign up for Health Tips for which they charge for every message you receive, which they sometimes truncate to maximize charges, so tell me what is free? They do not make it easy to unsubscribe either and by the time you get all the ebola info, you could have already died from the virus! Econet money grabbing captilasts!

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