Following on from their involvement in WhatApp's Enterprise Solutions pilot, South Africa's Praekelt.org has launched their new WhatsApp engagement technology that is said to provide a secure, immediate and highly scalable messaging product to other social impact organizations globally.

As of 8 August 2018, Praekelt's WhatsApp engagement tool is available for other organizations in various sectors to engage with their stakeholders.

Nelsiwe was recently diagnosed with HIV during her second pregnancy. Here's her story of how Praekelt's WhatsApp based solution, MomConnect, helped her keep her baby healthy.

“We feel that the ecosystem is changing. WhatsApp is becoming a universal communication medium in many of the regions that we operate in across the world. WhatsApp is different from SMS in a few, very important ways: it is secure, it is immediate, and allows for richer conversations than SMS,” said Simon de Haan, CTO of the Praekelt WhatsApp offering.

Using WhatsApp for social impact in South Africa

Praekelt's pilot partnership with WhatsApp’s Enterprise Solution was mainly about engaging with mothers on the South African Department of Health’s MomConnect platform. In September 2017, all pregnant women at public clinics in South Africa were given the option of using WhatsApp as their medium of choice for receiving maternal health information. Since launch, over 120,000 mothers are reported to have signed up to the service and the engagement of those who chose to use WhatsApp has been significant with a WhatsApp subscriber 6,7 times as likely to reach out to the helpdesk.

“WhatsApp not only poses a truly unprecedented opportunity to build a global maternal health platform for MomConnect, but now will allow other organizations to personalize messages and distribute them at massive scale,” said De Haan.

Some of the features of the = Praekelt Whatsapp starter plan are:

  • Single WhatsApp number
  • Natural language support
  • FAQ management
  • API for 3rd party integrations.

“With the advance of data capable phones and the penetration of affordable IP connectivity, messaging solutions can now engage people at a previously unimaginable scale,” concluded De Haan.


Cover image credit: Praekelt.org WhatsApp screen for MomConnect in South Africa.