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Session 21

Tanzania’s app-based health insurance
In today’s episode we will be discussing how mobile phones are changing our lives – for the better.

የታንዛኒያ መተግበሪያ ላይ የተመሰረተ የጤና መድህን
በዛሬው ዝግጅታችን ተንቀሳቃሽ ስልኮች ህይወታችንን ምን ያህል በተሻለ ሁኔታ እየቀሩት እንደሆነ እናያለን።

Session 21 score

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Tanzania’s app-based health insurance

Look at the Session Vocabulary – make sure you know what these words and phrases mean:

  • health insurance
  • healthcare
  • to be here to stay
  • at their fingertips


How much of the world’s population will be a mobile phone user or subscriber by 2020?

a. nearly 30%
b. nearly 50%
c. nearly 70%

Listen to the discussion and find out the answer.

Listen to find the answers. Then check them on the transcript below.

Show transcript Hide transcript

ሰላም፥ ስለአንድ ጉዳይ ወደምንወያይበትና ስለጉዳዩ ለማውራት የሚያስፈልገውን ቋንቋ ወደምናቀርብበት የEnglish Together ዝግጅት እንኳን በደህና መጡ። ዘሩባቤል እባላለሁ። አብረውኝቶም እና ፊል አሉ።

Hi, I’m Tom. Welcome to the programme, everyone!

And I’m Phil. Hello!

ዛሬ ተንቀሳቃሽ ስልኮች ምን ያህል ህይወታችንን በተሻለ ሁኔታ እየቀየሩት እንዳለ እናወራለን! ተንቀሳቃሽ ስልኮች የዕለት ተዕለት ህይወታችን ትልቅ አካል መሆናቸውን ስናስብ ጥያቄ አጫረብን፤ እ.አ.አ. በ2020 ከዓለማችን ህዝብ ውስጥ ምን ያህሉ የተንቀሳቃሽ ስልክ ተጠቃሚ ወይንም ተመዝጋቢ ‘subscriber’ ይሆናል?
ሀ) 30 በመቶ የሚጠጋ
ለ) 50 በመቶ የሚጠጋ
ሐ) 70 በመቶ የሚጠጋ

Well, here in London, everyone is on their phone all the time! I say 100%!

Yes, but our quiz is about the whole world’s population, Phil, not just that in London.

አሁን ታንዛንያ ውስጥ የተንቀሳቃሽ ስልክ መተግበሪያ ከዚህ በፊት ለበርካቶች ከባድ የነበረውን የጤና መድህን ዋስትና ‘health insurance’ እንዲያገኙ በዛውም የጤና ክብካቤ ‘healthcare’ እንዲሰጣቸው ስለማስቻሉ የተሰራ የBBC Africa Business Report ዘገባን እንዳምጥ።

News insert
For millions of Tanzanians who live on low incomes, health insurance is a luxury they simply cannot afford. But, technology is beginning to change the landscape. Two years ago, mobile phone subscribers here in Tanzania rose by 25%. Now, technology analysts are convinced that mobile phones could indeed be key in changing people’s lives in many aspects. With only a basic feature phone, a customer can register for a policy and make payments for premium as low as a dollar a month.

You see, Tom? It’s not just London. Mobile phone subscribers in Tanzania rose by 25% two years ago!

Yep, you’re right, that is a huge increase. But what was more interesting to me in the story is the positive impact that mobile phones are having.

‘To have a positive impact’ አዎንታዊ ተፅዕኖ ማምጣት ማለት ነው። ተቃራኒው ‘to have a negative impact’ አሉታዊ ተፅዕኖ ነው። Yes, some good news about mobile phones!

And, it’s nice to hear that mobile phones are actually having a positive impact on people’s health. Often, we just hear the opposite.

We often hear the opposite because it’s true! Mobile phones are having a negative impact on our health, on our relationship with others… They’re often bringing about social change in negative ways.

‘To bring about social change’ ማኅበራዊ ለውጥ ማምጣት ማለት ነው። I agree that mobile phones can bring about social change in negative ways…

But don’t you think giving people access to healthcare is an example of how mobile phones are bringing about social change in a positive way?

Before you answer Phil, let’s go back to our quiz question from earlier: እ.ኤ.አ በ2020 ምን ያህሉ የዓለማችን ህዝብ ተንቀሳቃሽ ስልክ ተጠቃሚ ይሆናል?
ሀ) 30 በመቶ የሚጠጋ
ለ) 50 በመቶ የሚጠጋ
ሐ) 70 በመቶ የሚጠጋ
statista.com ላይ በተቀመጡ የተለያዩ ግምቶች መሰረት መልሱ ሐ) 70 በመቶ አካባቢ ነው።
So, mobiles phones are here to stay ከእኛ ጋር መቆየታቸው አይቀርም ማለት ነው።

Clearly! And, yes, of course I agree that access to healthcare should be a basic right.

‘A basic right’ መሰረታዊ መብት ማለት ነው። የጤና አገልግሎት ማግኘት ደግሞ አንዱ መሰረታዊ መብት ነው።

But, even though I agree that being able to see the doctor when you’re ill should be a basic right, it’s also a luxury that many people can’t afford.

Very true. ‘A luxury that people can’t afford’ ከሰዎች አቅም በላይ የሆነ ቅንጦት ማለት ነው።

Absolutely! Which is why I like this story so much. Now, it seems seeing a doctor doesn’t have to be a luxury that people can’t afford.

Because it’s literally at their fingertips, you mean?

Exactly! Phil, did we just agree on something?

I think we did, yes.


This news story really has had a positive impact!
እርስዎስ? የጤና ክብካቤ ‘a basic right’ መሆን አለበት ብለው ያስባሉ? ተንቀሳቃሽ ስልኮች በህይወታችን ላይ ሌላ አይነት ‘positive impact’ አላቸው ብለው ያስባሉ?
የዛሬውን ዝግጅታችንን አጠናቅቀን። ከመሰናበታችን በፊት፥ ስናወራባቸው የቆየናቸውን ቃላት አንዴ እንመልከት፤ ሁሉም ከማኅበራዊ ጉዳዮች ጋር የተያያዙ ናቸው። ‘to have a positive impact’ አዎንታዊ ተፅዕኖ ማምጣት ማለት ሲሆን፥ ‘to bring about social change’ ደግሞ ማኅበራዊ ለውጥ ማምጣት ነው። ‘a basic right’ መሠረታዊ መብት ማለት ነው፤ ‘a luxury people cannot afford’ ደግሞ ከሰዎች አቅም በላይ የሆነ ቅንጦት ማለት ነው።
አብረውን ስለቆዩ እናመሰግናለን፤ ለተጨማሪ የEnglish Together ዝግጅት በሚቀጥለው ሳምንት ይጠብቁን።

Meaning & Use

to have a positive impact (verb phrase)

An impact, in this context, means 'an effect or influence', usually of some importance. Therefore, if something or someone has a positive impact, they 'influence or affect a situation or a person in a good way'. This verb phrase is usually followed by the preposition 'on'.
Susan has had a very positive impact on the team since she joined. She's had lots of good ideas and made some important improvements.
The increased investment in the company had a positive impact on its profits.

It is also possible for something to have a negative impact, so they 'influence or affect a situation or a person in a bad way'.
Smoking can have a very negative impact on your health.

to bring about social change (verb phrase)

To bring about is a phrasal verb which means 'to cause something to happen'. Social change is when something in society changes or becomes different.
The new president was elected because he promised to bring about social change.
When women were given the right to vote, it brought about a huge social change.

a basic right (noun phrase)

Basic is an adjective meaning 'common, required or fundamental'. A right is a countable noun meaning 'a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something'. It is often used with adjectives 'human' and 'legal', as well as basic
Access to clean water is a basic human right that everyone should have.
Do you think free education is a basic right?

a luxury people can't afford (expression)

A luxury is 'something expensive that you enjoy but do not really need'. If you can't afford something, it means you don't have enough money to buy it. Therefore, the expression a luxury someone can't afford refers to something that is not possible under the current circumstances. It can also be about things that are difficult to obtain at the moment, not just about money.
During the drought, people had to cut down on the amount of water they used. Long showers and watering the garden were luxuries they couldn't afford.
I'm so busy studying for my exams, taking time off to see friends and go to the cinema is a luxury I simply can't afford at the moment!

Tanzania’s app-based health insurance

4 Questions

Choose the correct answer.
ትክክለኛውን መልስ ይምረጡ

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Over to you!

Do you think healthcare should be 'a basic right'? Can you see other ways in which mobile phones have 'had a positive impact' on our lives? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of English Together when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
ተጨማሪ ጠቃሚ አገላለፆችን ለመማር እና የማዳመጥ ክህሎትዎን በመለማመድ ለማዳበር በቀጣዩ English Together ዝግጅታችን ይጠብቁን።

Session Vocabulary

  • to have a positive impact
    አዎንታዊ ተፅዕኖ ማሳደር

    to bring about social change
    ማኅበራዊ ለውጥ ማምጣት

    a basic right
    መሰረታዊ መብት

    a luxury people can’t afford
    ከሰዎች አቅም በላይ የሆነ ቅንጦት

    a subscriber

    health insurance
    የጤና መድህን

    ጤና ክብካቤ

    to be here to stay
    አብሮን የሚቆይ ነገር መሆን

    at their fingertips
    በጣም በቅርብ፥ በጣት ጫፍ ላይ