How Software Developers try to fight Ebola
A international group of tech experts brings locals skills together with up-to-date Information Management Systems and Low-Power Data Centers to battle the epidemic spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa by means of Open Source Software. Now they’re looking for helping hands.
“eHealth Africa is focused on improving healthcare by creating effective ways to implement reliable health information management systems. We have developed eHealth and mHealth solutions that can be rapidly deployed to manage patient information, streamline clinical procedures, and provide data and analysis on health program outcomes.” (eHealthAfrica.org 2014)
The threat of Ebola poses a challenge for any state affected. In countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone the virus hits weakly financed public healthcare. People have to learn fast in order to stop the outbreak. The basic idea is: Open Software solutions could provide an affordable way of organizing related information on patients, treatments and medication.
Software developed by eHealth Africa shall provide NGO’s, hospitals, and donor agencies with access to timely health system indicators needed to evaluate their health interventions and respond to critical public health needs, eHealth Africa explains. “We bring about positive change by harnessing the potential of technology, valuing the power and knowledge of local people, and maintaining a sharp focus on the health worker.”
According to the official mission statement, eHealth Africa ”utilizes appropriate technology to effectively design, implement, manage, and evaluate health projects.” The group is established as “public service corporation” under US law and has offices in California and Nigeria.
“We’re an American-Nigerian NGO specialised on the development of software. Currently our main task is to develop a tool set to tackle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Our diverse Team of 20 is located in Berlin, with various team members currently on site in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.” (eHealthAfrica.org 2014)
Want to read more? “Wired” has a large article on “Northern Nigeria’s digital healthcare crusaders” Evelyn Castle and Adam thompson: “Open Source Tackles Healthcare In Places Microsoft Can’t“
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