Mobile health – the local way

Kenya mobile healthHere is a great story from Kenya about how local skill triumphed to build a local system for a local problem. The Kenyan government recognised in 2010 that it had a problem with identifying, and therefore treating, infectious diseases. So the health ministry initially sought the help of a multinational (Bharti Artel). The cost would have been about 2 million US dollars.


The deal was never signed. Instead, four students from Nairobi’s Strathmore university got programming. After they spent a few months at the  Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) offices, talking to health ministry staff about traditional methods of information gathering, and programming into the wee hours of the night – voila – an “Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response” system was up and running.

This story shows us that it’s worth searching locally for a solution, before approaching large multinationals or NGOs. Locals know the situation, understand the context, speak the language, have cultural sway, and are more likely to stick around and encourage sustainability.

Read the full story here.