ONE BCG Botswana; improving lives of Cancer patients in Botswana

Around the globe, lives are increasingly being transformed by technology, healthcare, perhaps one of the most impressive arenas for these changes. Technological advancement in healthcare has many benefits that are making healthcare more accessible and tailored to a patient’s specific needs and delivering it in a dignified, quality way. In many hospitals and clinics in developed countries, with just a few clicks, a physician can retrieve all of the patient’s medical history. 

Though technology platforms have made healthcare more accessible and tailored, they have little value to those who can’t afford smartphones and the internet. And that is the majority of the African population. 70% of sub-Saharan Africa lives below $2 per day, and the majority live in rural areas. Even more problematic, Africa represents 14% of the world’s population, carries 25% of the world’s disease burden. Cancer is also known to disproportionately affect the communities in low-and middle-income countries. For example, the probability of a woman dying from cancer is two times higher in Africa compared to Europe. Treatment adherence and patient monitoring are essential to cancer care but are often not possible or ignored in Low and middle-income countries.
ONE BCG believes in patient empowerment and building connected ecosystems in healthcare. In Botswana, 70% of cancer patients are known to receive insufficient treatment. To create better health outcomes, ONE BCG Botswana in partnership with Botswana UPenn Partnership, The Ministry of Health and Wellness, Princess Marina Hospital and Botswana Innovation Hub, launched the first cancer care platform, OP Care.
The OP Care platform, designed and implemented by ONE BCG Botswana, is indeed the first of its kind of indigenous solution to the challenges faced in Botswana, and this has been a major factor in its success.

Cancer patients in Botswana would not turn up for lifesaving treatments (chemotherapy and radiation) due to a multitude of factors, including time missed from work, transportation, and finances. OP Care helped the hospital cut back on no shows and engage with patients undergoing lifesaving treatments.

ONE BCG has been working with a local team of doctors, nurses, and researchers to provide affordable, sustainable, and reliable solutions as a response to the startling data. The patient tracking and reminder system empowers both the patients and medical professionals by providing a clear communication method to ensure a complete treatment cycle. HIPAA compliant, OP Care automates post-treatment care and reminds patients to complete lifesaving medical protocols. The aim is to provide an inexpensive way for patients to confirm appointment attendance and make it easy for medical professionals to connect with patients and ensure the best possible care.


OP Care helps facilitate the work of healthcare workers, clinics, and development organizations, and it also improves the information flow and increases the number of patients who turn up for lifesaving protocols.
Already, OP Care has a positive impact on over 1,000 cancer patients in Botswana.

Paper and the Bad Old Days (they’re still here)
Before OP Care, when a patient first interacts with the healthcare practitioners, their medical history was manually recorded. Data such as diagnosis, medicines prescribed, lab test results, appointments attended/missed was lost in communication. 

All of the patient data was recorded on paper — a method that was effective but vulnerable to error and inaccuracy.

Lack of centralized methods of patient tracking, retention, and treatment record-keeping is a challenge in many LMIC oncology clinics. Practically, this means that providers needed a readily accessible, safe and convenient place to store patients’ treatment information, relevant health records, and scheduling. Clinics also require a method of reminding patients of appointments, as well as a way of reaching out to them to ensure they receive proper care.

Smartphone applications (Apps) like OP Care are at the forefront of healthcare innovation in low-resource settings, making them an obvious choice to tackle the challenges mentioned above.

ONE BCG’s Mission and Worldwide Impact
The ONE BCG team has gained many valuable insights from over 20 years of experience that it has applied to this project. ONE BCG has worked on the ground with local teams to overcome this challenge and build trust by establishing an indigenous solution for cancer affected lives in Botswana.

OP Care is a nonprofit initiative by ONE BCG. Its mission is to deliver better access to healthcare systems — to those who need it most, people and organizations in rural and highly underserved communities of the developing world.

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