2020 Health Security & Pandemics


PENSA *660#

Multi-channel and bi-directional mHealth platform providing free, MoH-approved health information to people with low-tech phones and limited access to health services

Team Lead

Valter Cumbi

Solution Pitch

The Problem

68 percent of Mozambique’s 28 million citizens live in rural areas with limited access to basic health services. The health workforce is extremely under equipped with 0.055 physicians and 0.401 nurses and midwives per every 1000 people, relative to the WHO’s minimum recommended ratio of 2.3 per 1000 healthcare workers. 

The Solution

PENSA *660# is an mHealth platform accessible to even the most basic handset with no barrier to entry: it is free of charge, available on all operators 24/7, and works on any cell phone, even in areas with no data network. PENSA *660# provides pertinent Ministry of Health-approved information across multiple-channels. In addition to receiving up-to-date information on ongoing health crises and nearby health facilities, users can also subscribe to notifications on particular health topics, submit questions, receive vital SMS campaigns, and more. The platform also provides flexible surveys which can be used to collect user satisfaction information, administer vaccination surveys, and provide self-screening tests.

On the back-end, the Ministry of Health and partners can access anonymized and geo-referenced data and usage reports to inform decisions and health policies.


PENSA *660# has had 2.5 million users access its platform since November 2017, with 2.1 million using it to remain abreast of Covid-19 information in 2020.

Market Opportunity

PENSA *660# is designed to serve the 10.5 million underserved individuals over age 15 living in rural Mozambique. Current attempts to improve health in Mozambique generally focus on un-scalable and costly methods, such as: TV campaigns, face-to-face community outreach awareness, emails, and smartphone apps. Unfortunately, these methods fail to reach the most underserved populations. While 70 percent of Mozambique’s adult population own cell phones, many are basic or feature phones according to the national telecommunications regulator. PENSA *660# is designed to work with even the most basic cell phone. 

Organization Highlights

  • Speaking at conferences such as the 2019 National Cyber-Security Conference, 2016 International Conference on Mobile Communication Technology for Development, 2014 VAS Africa, and more

  • Featured on Social.co.mz, Jornal Noticias, UNICEF.org, and more

Partnership Goals

The PENSA *660# team currently seeks:

  • Business strategy expertise to pivot PENSA *660#'s model from a pro bono community project to a revenue generating and sustainable social product/business

  • PR & Marketing guidance to increase exposure and use of the product

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Maputo, Mozambique


Working in:



Solution Team:

  • Valter Cumbi Executive Director, Source Code

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