Find out whats happening in our world.

"Gateway Health is a leading NGO in South Africa, providing healthcare and community services to disadvantaged areas. It supplies emergency transport for women in labour, delivers medicine and identifies hot spots for human rights abuses. However, many of these programs have encountered difficulties due to a lack of reliable addressing."



Millions of people in South Africa live in informal settlements without reliable addressing. This inability to define a location - of homes, businesses and properties - means people are essentially invisible to the system. They can’t order goods or easily receive deliveries and they struggle to access basic services, amenities and receive medical care. In particular, pregnant women who experience difficulties during labour are unable to get help, as midwives can’t find them, and many die in childbirth. 


Gateway Health has found the perfect solution. what3words is a global addressing system. It has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a unique 3 word address. It provides a precise and incredibly simple way to talk about location. And it means everyone and everywhere now has an address.


Gateway Health is using 3 word addresses to provide services in KwaNdengezi, a poor informal settlement on the outskirts of Durban. They’ve collaborated with what3words to build a portable address printing machine that is taken right into the community. Local unemployed young people have been trained to help residents identify their 3 word address using the what3words app. The machine instantly prints this address on a durable sign for them to take away and display on their home.

Once a home has a 3 word address, its residents can share the location accurately and reliably. Medical services can identify where pregnant women live and provide them with essential pre-natal care. Should any complications occur during labour, ambulance crews also know exactly where to go to provide life-saving assistance.