Malawi: IT Student Creates Life-Saving Chatbot
On a continent where smoking cessation services are almost nonexistent; technology and innovation can go a long way in providing credible information that can help cigarette smokers in their journey to quitting.
Tobacco harm reduction advocacy in Africa continues to push forward. Many organizations around the continent are trying to bring about policy change that can save lives. THR Malawi is one such organization already having a positive impact.
Chief hurdles we face in Africa are a lack of knowledge and an abundance of misinformation. Lack of information is one of the problems facing the adoption of safer alternatives to smoking.
As one of the ways to help in disseminating information, Martha Mwase, an IT student from Malawi has created a tobacco harm reduction chatbot that shares factual information and advice on smoking, quitting & switching to safer alternatives.
Used as a targeted tool, chatbots can increase engagement by up to 90%. The recent popularity of chatbots in healthcare reflects the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the healthcare industry. These are programs designed to obtain users’ interest and initiate conversation using machine learning methods.
Martha is currently an ICT student at the University of Malawi.“I believe that the chatbot is an innovative way of communicating and my goal is to educate as many people as possible using the platform.” She ended.
The chatbot can be found on THR Malawi’s website www.thrmalawi.org