Jun 29, 2024

Member Spotlight: Reach Digital Health

Reach Digital Health imagines a world where healthcare is a universal right, not a privilege. We face the challenge head-on in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 24% of the world's disease burden is experienced by just 11% of the world’s population, with only 3% of the global health workforce to address it. Leveraging Mobile Technology, particularly simple channels like SMS and WhatsApp, we connect health services directly to people in need. With 16 years of experience scaling personalised digital health solutions in Africa, our goal is to extend quality healthcare to over 50 million individuals across 8 countries, supporting 500,000 health workers and enhancing care through real-time data insights delivered to health system officials.

Key Initiatives in the Field of Resilience

Reach has developed two mobile-based, interactive services to support HCWs with resilience-building through WhatsApp and USSD, including:

HealthWorker Connect: developed in mid-2020 at the peak of the COVID pandemic in South Africa, recognizing the added pressure on primary healthcare workers at the time. The service ‘cares for the carers’ by providing information and a 5-day program that addresses burnout and stress. Today, the platform reaches over 5,000 healthcare professionals across South Africa.

    • HealthWorker+ on WHO HealthAlert: In 2023, we developed a healthcare worker-facing intervention on WHO HealthAlert, a chatbot set up as part of the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 response previously targeted to a global audience. Based on the learnings from HealthWorker Connect, we developed the Wellbeing Challenge, to support HCWs in building healthy lifestyle habits (diet, exercise) and stress management skills. The service supports 30,563 HCWs from around the world.

    Involvement with the Resilience Collaborative

    Reach was introduced to TRC through Johnson & Johnson Foundation, who funded the development of our HCW offering on WHO HealthAlert in 2023. Since the introduction, we have participated in a podcast on resilience and are hoping to come together again for a jointly-hosted workshop at a conference in October 2024.

    Aspirations as a Member of this Community of Practice (CoP)

    Reach eagerly joins this COP to connect with like-minded organizations, gaining perspectives on bolstering healthcare worker resilience. Through knowledge exchange we aim to enhance our digital health interventions that reach and serve healthcare workers. Reach offers insights into digital platform sustainability and scale-up and fostering relationships with national health ministries and implementation partners. This collaborative approach can accelerate progress towards our shared goals and collective impact, focusing on improving individual health and wellbeing while enhancing healthcare at scale through a holistic, systems-level approach.

    Common Resilience Practice Regularly Followed by the Reach Digital Health Team

    Reach is one of the first organizations in South Africa to adopt a company-wide four-day work week (4DWW), which we introduced to adapt to the new era of remote working that emerged with the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering employees an extra day off each week has prioritized and promoted a healthier work-life balance, aiming to reduce stress and increase employee morale. The change has seen incredible benefits, with marked improvements in multiple measures of wellbeing and work satisfaction across the board as well as increase team retention.

    Advice for Individuals who are new to the TRC

    Don’t hesitate to share any resilience-related resources, publications, articles, social media posts or other tools that you find interesting, no matter how irrelevant or far-reaching it may seem. In developing our mobile-based tools for HCW resilience, we are constantly looking for open-source resources or exciting new ways of enhancing the digital experience, to continuously meet users where they are, with what they need, when they need it. If we can leverage what already exists, we can move much more quickly and stay ahead of the digital curve.

    Avenues to Partner with Reach Digital Health

    To learn more about Reach Digital Health and our work, please view our website or contact our Director of Partnerships and Growth, Carlos Yerena (

    If you or your organization like to be featured on this spotlight series or you’d like to nominate someone, please write to us:

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