National Help Line as National Health Line
National Help Line as National Health Line
National Help Line serves tremendously as National Health Line during corona crisis

Challenges


Internet penetration rate in Bangladesh is around 36%. For this around 64% citizens are still not using/have internet access and do not know about online platform. Due to that, they cannot enjoy the benefits of available in online platforms and channels and have to spend considerable amount of money, time and effort for getting information about government services due to lack of proper channel to raise their concerns and providing feedback. Beside these, there was no central complain system on social problems which can help to resolve problems quickly. In the time of corona pandemic national tele help line has become essential for all sorts of citizen centric services

Towards a Solution


Keeping all the challenges in mind, the National Helpline Service was launched, on April 12, 2018. Now any citizen can call from any number to get the available services of 333. Since the launch over half a million citizens have received information services and over 18 thousand citizens received remedies for various social problems. The Head of District Administration Deputy Commissioners and Head of Upazila Administration Upazila Nirbahi Officers have addressed over 18 thousand social problems, including 5,295 cases of child marriage, 1,744 cases of Government property, 1,699 cases of illegal drugs distribution , 1,193 cases of women persecution and dowry, 1,139 cases of environmental pollution, 1,085 cases of Education, 635 cases of gambling etc. Calling the 333 National Helpline, people access the following services:

  • Government services and procedures;
  • Contact information of public representatives and Government staff;
  • Grievances channel, where citizens can complain and get remedy for various social issues, such as early marriage, dowry, drug dealing, gambling, environmental pollution, food adulteration, etc.;
  • Tourist information;
  • e-Tin information & solution of all e-Tin related problems;
  • Weather information; and
  • Medicine authenticity checks

During the COVID-19 crisis, the 333 National Helpline has been repurposed to serve as a National Health Line. The goal is to map and track positive cases  and areas susceptible to contamination by using mobile users' information. The coronavirus outbreak has entered Bangladesh not just as a threat to public health, but has disrupted nearly every aspect of life. At such a moment of crisis, the inability to physically consult doctors has emerged as a crucial obstacle for citizens seeking medical assistance. Existing infrastructure and services such as the 333 National Helpline can play a tremendous role in easing citizens’ problems. The platform, which has been in use since 2018, has stepped up to address issues ranging from relief assistance to telemedicine services.

To date, over 3 million citizens have used the 333 National Helpline to receive health services on COVID 19 and 2 million self-reporting data points were collected. The target is to serve 70 million citizens.

This programme has already outlined a very effective sustainable approach. In the future, the services of different ministries will be incorporated into this call center. There are also to enable these services through over 5,295 digital centers, where people will be able to walk in and get services through entrepreneurs. In addition, new service delivery through SMS, IVR and USSD-based services, live chat and social media will also be added to the 333 National Helpline, and alternate channels such AI-based chatbots will be introduced to answer queries on government services. This solution can be replicated in any country with sufficient telecommunications facilities, in order ensure smoother, hassle-free and authentic public service delivery.

Contact Information

Name: Mr. Mohammad Arfe Elahi Title: Chief Technology Officer Cell: +8801718482426 E-mail: arfe.elahi@a2i.gov.bd

Supported by

Aspire to Innovate (a2i), Government of Bangladesh, Genex

Countries involved

Bangladesh

Implementing Entities

Aspire to Innovate (a2i)

Project Status

Ongoing

Project Period

1/2017

URL of the practice

http://333.gov.bd/

Primary SDG

03 - Good Health and Well-being

Secondary SDGs

16 - Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
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