Sawubona Health, Inc.
Sawubona Health is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aims to help communities worst hit by the HIV pandemic. HIV infection requires lifelong treatment to stay healthy and prevent new infections. HIV patients stop taking their medicines, or default on treatment, for a variety of reasons, including lack of social support, and about 5% of African patients default per year.
Sawubona, which means “I see you” in the African language isiZulu, was formed in February 2013 to tackle this problem. We aim to do so by sending HIV patients supportive, personalized, and low-cost weekly text messages. Such methods were proven effective in prior clinical trials.
We launched our service at the Don McKenzie Hospital in rural South Africa in September 2013. More than 2500 patients were enrolled and over 90% have elected to stay subscribed. We are now making final preparations to deploy at the Umndeni Care Program in the village of KwaXimba. Moving forward, we plan to rigorously evaluate and improve our service and then expand it throughout South Africa.