They Thought We Were Flowers, But We Were Actually Seeds

By Taylor Snyder

When eHA-Guinea’s (eHA-G) staff first arrived in the village of Saran, they found the valley landscape to be lush, with an abundance of crops growing in wide varieties. It was October of 2015, and many women in the village were out in the fields tending to their potatoes, which were being grown in tiny individual plots of land. While connecting with the community on ways to collaborate toward strengthening their district health posts, eHA-G’s staff was inspired to also leverage their experience supporting female entrepreneurship.

Health Post in Saran, Guinea

Health Post in Saran, Guinea

eHA-G’s staff described to several village women how they could combine their small plots of potatoes into one larger vegetable plot, in order to increase revenues and simultaneously decrease the amount of time they spent working in the field. The women followed that technical advice and expanded it further by forming a cooperative, combining plots of land, working together in the field, and diversifying their crops beyond potatoes to include ginger and cabbage. This dynamic cooperative commenced in February of 2016 and is now composed of 20 smart, joyful, and dedicated women.

Working together and employing several of their natural leadership skills is saving these women time, earning them more money, and creating a team culture where they count on each other. When they were working individually, they only earned a small amount of revenue. As a result of the new cooperative, they currently have 1 million GNF in their bank account and another 600,000 GNF ready to be deposited.

Newly designed agricultural fields in Saran, Guinea

Newly designed agricultural fields in Saran, Guinea

From the income earned, the cooperative reinvests in buying additional crops, shares some of the profit for their own personal needs, and put the remaining balance in their cooperative’s bank account. The women previously worked with the “federation paysanne,” but are now leveraging the talents of one woman’s bookkeeping skills to manage their finances independently.

Four growing seasons of experience has lead to the cooperatives’ creation of a working schedule that achieves both their cultivation and lifestyle goals. Three days a week, they gather early in the morning to work together in the fields. While most of women are in the field, they designate two women to cook a meal for the entire team and their families.

A major setback occurred last season when, due to heavy rain, their entire agricultural production was lost. The ramifications of the lost crops meant that the group lost food sources and income. Yet, the major outcome was that it reinforced the cooperative’s mission. They realized that by working and saving money together, what could have been devastating losses to individuals was just a small setback for the larger team. 

Supporting Health Workers at the Frontline of Disease Outbreak Prevention

November is typically a time of remembrance. Here in Sierra Leone, the memories hit close to home as the country marked the one year anniversary of the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. The resilience of the local communities is represented in the high EVD survival rates and support from government and partner organizations.

The EVD outbreak was characterized by acute challenges in field epidemiology, disease management, and disease control. Health worker education, training, and capacity building is one component essential to establishing holistic and effective disease management.

eHA Sierra Leone (eHA-SL) organizes rolling field epidemiology training programs (FETP) for district surveillance officers (DSOs) across the country. Through the support of funding from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the FETP program is hosted by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) and facilitated by African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) experts.

AFENET facilitator leading a group session (Nov 2016, Freetown, Sierra Leone)

AFENET facilitator leading a group session (Nov 2016, Freetown, Sierra Leone)

Every three months, the Frontline FETP trains new groups of approximately 20 public health staff in disease surveillance best practices. Participants are geographically diverse, and include participation from the national level and all 14 districts. From routine health data collection and recognition of exceptional symptoms to developing case profiles using the 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why) and creating action plans, the surveillance officers are oriented and guided through data-driven decision making.

The programs includes three months of classroom sessions and field-level application. Following two weeks of workshop sessions, up to nine weeks are spent conducting field projects which enables students to practice, implement, and reinforce what they have learned. These projects include creating reports with summary tables and charts of the surveillance data routinely collected at their particular agencies. In addition, DSOs conduct monitoring, evaluation, and feedback of surveillance activities at various health reporting sites. They also have the opportunity to perform a health problem analysis and participating in a mock case or outbreak investigation.

FETP Training (Nov 2016, Freetown, Sierra Leone)

FETP Training (Nov 2016, Freetown, Sierra Leone)

By the end of the quarter, the DSOs are well positioned to engage in more informed practice and decision-making to investigate, identify, and thwart future disease threats. Due to the rolling nature of the program, eHA and partners are able to train public health staff from across the country regularly. With this momentum in health worker training, over the next year the fortitude and capability of the health workforce will expand to champion disease outbreak in the Sierra Leone.

Using Tech to Save Lives in Sierra Leone

Captivated audience

Captivated audience

eHA SL Senior Software Developer, Jasper Timm

eHA SL Senior Software Developer, Jasper Timm

eHealth Africa (eHA) is often described as an organization which provides technological solutions to strengthen health systems. But what about the “e” in eHA? At the heart of the electronic systems are dynamic software solutions developed and managed by our global health informatics team.

In a quest to highlight achievements, share current projects, and inspire the emerging tech community, eHA’s Sierra Leone’s Information Systems Information Systems team led a “Hacks/Hackers Meetup” in Freetown this November. Hosted by local collective “Sensi Tech Innovation Hub,” the event brought together a mix of technology enthusiasts and software coders with a passion for health.

eHA disease surveillance software

eHA disease surveillance software

Team Manager Manuel Loistl and Senior Software Developer Jasper Timm spoke to a packed house about the Information System team’s role in a variety of eHA activities. This included an overview of: how eHA created mobile applications to track Ebola patients and potential patients during the Ebola outbreak and established the 117 emergency call center’s digital interfaces to connect health workers across all regions of Sierra Leone. Currently, the team is customizing DHIS2 software into a disease surveillance system for Sierra Leone, as well as supporting software modifications in a new partnership with VaxTrac. Additionally, Jasper covered important Information Systems processes and systems necessary to generate high-quality digital solutions to meet Sierra Leone’s unique health needs.

Excitement was in the air as many participants stayed after the presentations to engage with the team and play with demos of various software solutions created for different eHA initiatives.

For future opportunities with eHA Sierra Leone’s Information Systems team, please visit our careers webpage (under Informatics). Follow us for more coverage of similar events via Twitter and Facebook.

Thinking Pink and Giving Back

Team eHA on the move in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Team eHA on the move in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Who says the weekend’s for sleeping in? On Saturday, November 5th the eHealth Africa (eHA) Sierra Leone team laced up their sneakers to participate in the 3rd annual Thinking Pink Breast Cancer Foundation mini-marathon fundraiser.

In recognition of international breast cancer awareness month in October, the run brought together athletes, breast cancer survivors, family members, and the international community. The funds provide care for women unable to afford expensive medication, treatments and procedures. eHA is proud to have participated in a signature community event which motivates health-consciousness and the importance of physical activity.

Some ran, some walked, and some crawled, but nearly ½ of the eHA Sierra Leone office participated in the event and met triumphantly at the finish line. Congratulations to all participants for taking part in such a worthy cause!

eHA SL mini-marathoners!

eHA SL mini-marathoners!

Exciting New Partnership to Strengthen Child Immunization in Sierra Leone

Remember eHA’s participation in Sierra Leone's national polio campaign?

More than simply a community exercise, this event served as an important stepping stone toward the launch of an exciting new initiative to strengthen children’s health in Sierra Leone.

eHA is proud to announce its new partnership VaxTrac, an innovative organization which provides technologies to maximize the effectiveness of vaccination programs in developing countries. Between now and May 2017, partners will collaborate with the Child Health Division at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) to implement an electronic registry for children’s immunization throughout Sierra Leone.  

“eHA is excited to collaborate with MoHS and VaxTrac to implement a biometric immunization record system. We believe this project will lead to a higher number of children finishing their vaccination plans, as well as establish a robust immunization record system for Sierra Leone.” - Evelyn Castle, Executive Director and Co-Founder of eHealth Africa

Read the full announcement on VaxTrac’s website!

 

Digitizing Healthcare in Underserved Communities

See event photos below, and read an informative report on this incredible event held this month in Berlin.

Click here to read the full report. 

eHA Sierra Leone Joins The Campaign Against Polio

This year the eHA Sierra Leone team joined the national polio campaign as it kicked off throughout Freetown. The team visited the Murray Town community where the local Public Health Unit (PHU) was prepared to complete an extensive immunization hoping to reach all community children under the age of five.

This meant not only making home visits to families with trained nurse practitioners to provide medicine and document the process, but also touring schools as a strategic measure to reach as many children as possible. Our team witnessed health workers in communicate, organize, deliver and record their immunization activities within their communities using traditional pen and paper. 

eHA already has a long and successful track record digitizing the aspects of Nigeria’s polio emergency response activities. Now, after the Sierra Leone event, the knowledge and exposure to these and similar types of immunization campaigns is spreading across the organization. As eHA continues to support routine immunization and rapid, real-time disease surveillance, our teams across West Africa will seek to increase their skills and expertise to design effective and user-friendly tools which mirror and simplify the work for health care workers. These efforts will contribute directly to a community’s ability to track its health status and make informed decisions to improve its overall wellbeing.

Disrupting at the "Health Meets Tech" Conference

eHealth Africa’s (eHA) Executive Director and Co-Founder Adam Thompson participated in the second edition of the Future of Health Conference themed “Health meets Tech” organized by Nigeria Health Watch, which took place on September 22, 2016, in Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The conference brought together stakeholders from both health and technology spheres to collaboratively discuss on ways to improve the health sector in Nigeria through the use of technology. The discussions were categorized into three sessions: Leaders, Game Changers, and Disrupters.

‘The Leaders’ session featured decision makers from the public and private sectors who highlighted the ideas and inspired thinking of a unique generation of bright minds and leaders in the health sector. The second session tagged ‘The Game Changers’ featured a unique set of health entrepreneurs who have made significant transformative contributions to the sector using technology.

The final session tagged ‘The Disrupters’ featured the pace-setters who already have ignited the change discussed in the health sector by using technology to overcome tough challenges and inspire action. eHA was one of the six ‘disrupters’ identified to participate in this session.

In his presentation titled ‘The Use of Technology to Improve Efficiency of Healthcare Delivery in Some of the Toughest Areas in Nigeria’, Adam gave an overview of the various projects implemented by eHA, with emphases on Disease Surveillance and Emergency Preparedness & Response. His talk highlighted the changes enabled by the Polio Emergency Operation Centers in Nigeria, and described the successes based on the synchronization of infrastructure, partnerships, and data, which together can be leveraged to drive more informed action and achieve greater impact.

Future Resilient Farming Systems for the Semi-Arid West and Central Africa

Our Nigeria office in Kano State recently hosted a team of international delegates who were in Kano State for a three-day international workshop titled "Future Resilient Farming Systems for the Semi-Arid West and Central Africa." The workshop was organized by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). ICRISAT facilitated the workshop in collaboration with eHealth Africa (eHA), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and Bayero University Kano State.

The visiting group of delegates was made up of representatives from nine countries, led by ICRISAT Nigeria’s Country Representative Dr. Ajeigbe Hakeem.

Also present at the event:

  • Professor Anthony Whitbread, Research Program Director of Innovation Systems for Drylands

  • From India: Dr. Ramadjita Tabo, Regional Director for West and Central Africa

  • From Zimbabwe: ICRISAT’s Dr. Sabine Homann-Kee Tui, Social Scientist for Crop-Livestock Systems

eHealth Africa’s Associate Director of Programs Anu Parvatiyar and others from the eHA team welcomed the international delegates. Parvatiyar gave a presentation that provided the visitors with an overview of eHA, followed by a presentation on Nutrition and Food Security given by eHA’s Program Manager Dr. Sarma Mallubhotla. After presentations and discussions, the visitors also had the opportunity to tour eHA’s main campus and explore projects currently in the works.

Dr. Tabo said that given the impact achieved by eHealth Africa on healthcare in Nigeria, he is hoping that both organizations will continue to explore areas of collaboration to dramatically increase what is accomplished going forward.

Conference on Health and Humanitarian Logistics

eHealth Africa (eHA) participated in the Conference on Health and Humanitarian Logistics, held from August 29th to August 31st in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference was organized by the Georgia Tech Center for Health and Humanitarian  Systems.

The aim of the conference was to provide a forum for the discussion of challenges and solutions in disaster preparedness and response, long-term development and humanitarian aid, and global health delivery. The conference was focused on transforming global health and humanitarian systems, and included plenary panels, interactive workshops and poster sessions.

MOVE and Vaccine Direct Delivery, logistics management information tools used to support health commodity supply chains in vulnerable communities in Nigeria, were featured in a poster booth and presented during the Technology Exhibit by Adam Thompson, Executive Director of eHA.

STRIVE: Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola

In 2014, eHealth Africa was approached by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist in the implementation of the first ever clinical trial in Sierra Leone. The clinical trial was to test a vaccine against the Ebola Virus Disease. At the time Sierra Leone was facing a deadly Ebola outbreak that gripped the nation. Combined with cases in neighboring Liberia and Guinea, the epidemic had already become the worst ever recorded in history. The World Health Organization (WHO) had declared an international public health emergency, and Sierra Leone declared a national state of emergency. In a health care system already lacking adequate staffing, health care workers and frontline workers were at extreme risk for contracting the disease.

 

In partnership with the CDC, the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and clinical leadership from the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), eHealth Africa led the operations for the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE).

 

In the end, STRIVE enrolled and vaccinated over 8,000 health care and front line workers. 350+ Sierra Leonean clinicians were trained to enroll, vaccinate, and provide surveillance, also building a functioning cold chain to support -80 degree centigrade temperatures to keep the vaccine viable.

 

Here are some of the innovations eHealth Africa facilitated for the SRIVE program.

-       A mobile electronic participant registration system

-       A toll free line hosted by a 24-hour call center for participants enrolled in the trial

-       Operations and logistics support to the seven enrollment and vaccination sites

-       Renovation of the enrollment and vaccination sites prior to opening

-       Contract creation with hospitals around the country to provide free medical care to 8000+ enrolled participants for the duration of the trial

 

A unique strength of eHealth Africa (eHA) is our ability to maintain innovation during times of crisis, using these innovations to assist response efforts. Software developments that were used for the vaccine trial were also adapted for the larger Ebola response in Sierra Leone. In the post-Ebola outbreak phase, eHA is looking to apply these innovations to the national recovery plan. This will be done by building capacity in mortality and disease surveillance, patient medical records in hospitals, using biometrics to monitor child immunization campaigns, and maintaining extreme temperatures in cold chains to keep life saving vaccines.

 

A major benefit of STRIVE is providing a wealth of information on the safety profile of an Ebola Vaccine. Additionally, 8000+ health care workers were able to access the vaccine during an Ebola outbreak. These are major steps towards licensure and preventing devastating Ebola outbreaks in the future.

 

For eHealth Africa, it was highly valuable to participate as a major partner in the implementation of STRIVE. Our participation not only built up our own capacity as an organization, but allowed us to develop innovative tools that are now being used in the post-Ebola response, building back health systems that are now stronger and more accessible to Sierra Leoneans. 

eHA Supports Polio Outbreak Response Campaign

In response to the two wild poliovirus cases detected in Borno State in August 2016, the first outbreak response campaign is set to run from August 27-30 in five Northern states.

eHealth Africa will be providing support for the campaign by supplying over 8000 GPS-enabled mobile devices to field vaccination teams to enable the collection of geo-coordinate information on settlements reached during their house-to-house visits. To provide technical field support, eHA has deployed over 70 field staff to 37 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the five Northern states.


Data collected by the vaccination teams will be uploaded onto a local server to enable key health administrators and partners, at the LGA and state level, to visualize the data collected from the daily field activities on the Vaccination Tracking System (VTS) dashboard. From the results, polio program stakeholders will be able to see the percentage of geo-coverage achieved and most importantly, the number of missed settlements that will require follow-up visits. This information will help stakeholders make timely and better-informed decisions to ensure all eligible children in the regions are immunized with the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV).  

Global Health Security - Focus Africa

In order to facilitate a productive exchange among the global health community in Berlin, on June 30, 2016, eHealth Africa hosted a discussion event dedicated to Global Health Security – Focus Africa. he event aimed to address questions on possible pandemic outbreaks in Africa and Europe, methods of containment, and learnings from previous pandemics.

See pictures from the event below, and click here to read the full event report from Berlin. 

eHA Global Informatics Team Trains Delegates From Nigeria's Ministry of Health

Group Photo: Ministry of Health and eHealth Africa teams.

Group Photo: Ministry of Health and eHealth Africa teams.

On Friday the 12th of July, eHealth Africa (eHA) hosted and trained a six person team from the Federal Ministry of Health’s Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) department on application of open source Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for public health interventions.

eHA's Samuel Aiyeoribe working with Ministry of Health Director Ifeoma Anagbagu during the training.

eHA's Samuel Aiyeoribe working with Ministry of Health Director Ifeoma Anagbagu during the training.

The Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) programme of the Federal Ministry of Health is focused on addressing neglected diseases consisting of Lymphatic Filariasis, Onchocerciasis, Schistosomiasis, leprosy, guinea worms, and many others. Their goal is to reduce morbidity, disability, and mortality caused by these diseases through the control and eradication of NTDs using cost effective approaches. The objective of the NTD team is to enhance monitoring and evaluation, surveillance and operations research in order to strengthen government ownership, advocacy, coordination and partnerships as well.

To foster the enhancement of monitoring, evaluation and surveillance, the Ministry of Health’s NTD department received training from eHA department staff on basic guidelines regarding the use of QGIS, a free and open source Geographic Information System software.

The QGIS training was a one day training which covered the introduction of geospatial technologies, applications for public health, installation of QGIS, interface and plugins, working with datasets, data manipulation and analysis, map creation and embellishment, and a practical session on map design and production.                                      

The training was led by eHA’s GIS Architect and Department Lead Samuel Aiyeoribe, along with Ayodele Adeyemo, the Assistant Geospatial Analyst. These facilitators commenced the training following an overview of our organization presented by Health Delivery Systems Program Manager Wynfred Russell. The director of the Ministry of Health Director Mrs. Ifeoma Anagbagu also gave an overview about their organization, and an introduction to NTDs. Anagbagu shared how impressed she was by what was learned and the skills acquired from the training.

“I coordinated the Guinea Worm eradication program in 2007, and at that time we used HealthMapper for mapping and analysis of the the data. But from what I learned today, this goes beyond the Guinea Worm eradication program. We are looking forward to doing so much with the knowledge received here.” - Ifeoma Anagbagu, Ministry of Health Director

The NTD team as a whole was excited and satisfied with the training, and we were honored to hand them certificates for completing the training successfully.

The Changer Tech Open Air Hangout

As part of the Berlin Tech Open Air 2016 Festival THE CHANGER (www.thechanger.org), Ashoka's PEP, Green Alley and Impact Hub Berlin organized a social tech startup hangout for people interested in social entrepreneurship, social change and using tech for good.

eHealth Africa’s CTO Didi Hoffmann presented to an interested audience of approximately 200 people how eHA is using tech for good in Africa.  Other special guests included the Jourvie team, who created an app to fight eating disorders. An organization called Changers offered solutions for carbon print reduction to companies. The EIDU app was demonstrated, a self-teaching app for pre-school children in developing countries. The HiMate app was present as well, an app that offers vouchers to refugees.

These tech demonstrations were followed by two hours of networking and responding to questions at dedicated stands. At the eHA stand, Didi Hoffmann, Francesco Occhipinti and Natalya Nepomnyashcha talked with attendees about eHA's work and provided live demos of the mobile data collection application HAT. Members of the eHA team interacted and demonstrated this app with multiple investors, social entrepreneurs and public health professionals.

Our thanks goes out to The Changer and the other organizers and sponsors! We look forward to seeing how the new partnerships and relationships benefit health tech and the health of communities worldwide.

Update: Immunization Plus Days

LGA evening review meeting at the Emir of Potiskum’s Palace (Yobe State)

LGA evening review meeting at the Emir of Potiskum’s Palace (Yobe State)

During the March round of National Immunization Plus Days (NIPD), eHealth Africa (eHA) provided vaccinator tracking support to ten southern states in Nigeria: Cross River, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Ekiti, and Delta. In May, eHA took part in the state-level IPD in 24 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in three of Nigeria’s northern states (Bauchi, Katsina, Kano).

The May IPD campaign took place from May 14-17. Our field officers were on the ground in 24 LGAs providing technical support for the vaccinator tracking activity. Every IPD campaign is different and, as usual, the May campaign presented a variety of new experiences and challenges for our vaccinator tracking teams.

One of the issues faced was the distance from the campaign takeoff point office to the ward settlements where the vaccination teams traveled for daily house-to-house visits. Many wards were 4-5 hours away from the base office in the respective LGAs. As a result, some teams could not return their phone trackers on a daily basis as intended. This caused a delay in the uploading of geographic “tracks” from the the team’s phones onto our server. Consequently, daily field results (via dashboard visualization) were only able to be reviewed at the end of the campaign by stakeholders, as opposed to on a daily basis at campaign evening review meetings. This was especially the case for several LGAs in Bauchi and Yobe state.

Poor network issues also made it difficult for our staff to upload data in a timely manner to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) dashboard in the states they were based. This issue was mainly experienced in Yobe state areas including Fika, Jakusko, and Machina LGAs. Another key issue was security problems in several locations due to insurgency threats and political unrest, notably in Yobe state.

Map correction meeting with the LGA Ward Focal Persons in Potiskum

Map correction meeting with the LGA Ward Focal Persons in Potiskum

After encountering and overcoming the above-mentioned challenges, we are glad to report that our eHA field officers successfully conducted vaccinator tracking activities for the May IPD campaign. We were able to get valid recordings of the geographic coverage achieved by the vaccination teams for each LGA supported. We look forward to the upcoming campaign in October, and remain committed to aiding the nation in achieving its goal of receiving the certification of eradication of polio from WHO in 2017.

eHA Nigeria Hosts Representatives From HarvestPlus

L-R: Atef Fawaz Deputy (Country Director eHA), Ifeoma Okoye (Communications Manager HarvestPlus), Paul Ilona (Country Director HarvestPlus), Sarma Mallubhotla (Nutrition and Food Security Program Manager eHA), Stephanie Okpere (Project Coordinator eHA).

L-R: Atef Fawaz Deputy (Country Director eHA), Ifeoma Okoye (Communications Manager HarvestPlus), Paul Ilona (Country Director HarvestPlus), Sarma Mallubhotla (Nutrition and Food Security Program Manager eHA), Stephanie Okpere (Project Coordinator eHA).

A recent report from UNICEF shows that Nigeria as a country loses 145 women and 2,300 children between the ages of 0-5 years every day. While there are a variety of causes such as disease, one of the largest culprits in this tragedy is malnutrition. In Nigeria, malnutrition accounts for over 50% of morbidity and mortality in a large proportion of children between the ages of 0-5.

In view of this, eHealth Africa (eHA) is developing a new partnership with HarvestPlus to address malnutrition in Northern Nigeria through production and consumption of biofortified foods. eHealth Africa’s Nutrition and Food Security Program Manager Dr. Sarma Mallubhotla hosted representatives of HarvestPlus:Country Director Paul Ilona and Communications Manager Ifeoma Okonkwo. The representatives met with eHA Executive Director Adam Thompson, Deputy Country Director Atef Fawaz, and various program managers. They also met with Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Coordinators, as well as the Global Health Informatics team leads.

To start the brainstorming session, representatives from both eHA and HarvestPlus provided overviews of their organizations. After these introductions, discussions were held on how the proposed partnership could help introduce more nutritious Provitamin A rich Maize and Cassava, Iron rich Sorghum, and Zinc Rice to farmers in Northern Nigeria. The discussion also explored possible ways to create awareness of the nutritious value of the crops and encourage their uptake across the value chain. All of these discussions are focused on one goal: improving the diet of the most vulnerable population in Nigeria.

HarvestPlus leads a global effort to improve nutrition and public health by developing and disseminating staple food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals. HarvestPlus works with public and private sector partners in more than 40 countries and is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), which helps realize the potential of agricultural development to deliver gender equitable health and nutritional benefits to the poor. 

As a result of this joint brainstorming session, eHA and HarvestPlus are looking forward to developing a collaborative agreement and detailed work plan to build a productive partnership that will contribute to the fight against malnutrition in Nigeria.

eHA Hosts the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

James Hooper (Senior Officer, Assurance and Risk, BMGF), Nicole Tiano (Senior Finance Manager, BMGF), Evelyn Castle (Executive Director, eHA), Adam Thompson (Executive Director, eHA), Atef Fawaz (Nigeria Deputy Country Director, eHA), Adeola Ogunrinde (Senior Associate, PwC), Nicole Freeman (Grants Manager, eHA), David Bizzaro (Chief Financial Officer, eHA), Charles Spears (HR Director, eHA), Chinedu Nwaodua (Manager, PwC).

James Hooper (Senior Officer, Assurance and Risk, BMGF), Nicole Tiano (Senior Finance Manager, BMGF), Evelyn Castle (Executive Director, eHA), Adam Thompson (Executive Director, eHA), Atef Fawaz (Nigeria Deputy Country Director, eHA), Adeola Ogunrinde (Senior Associate, PwC), Nicole Freeman (Grants Manager, eHA), David Bizzaro (Chief Financial Officer, eHA), Charles Spears (HR Director, eHA), Chinedu Nwaodua (Manager, PwC).

eHealth Africa (eHA) was happy to host the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) at our Kano Headquarters from May 18-20 for our first Proactive Assurance Review.

The Assurance Review consisted of an assessment of eHA's financial, programmatic, and organizational management practices. The purpose of the assessment was to allow BMGF to better understand eHA programmatic and operational capabilities. The process provides assurance to BMGF leadership that eHA is utilizing the foundation funds appropriately. 

In addition to the Assurance Review, eHA Executive Directors Evelyn Castle and Adam Thompson had the opportunity to discuss eHA's upcoming Capacity Development Grant with BMGF. The Capacity Development Grant will provide eHA with the opportunity to develop a strategic and operational plan as well as develop some additional core organizational capacities. 

We are very grateful for the opportunity BMGF is providing to eHA through the Capacity Development Grant, as well as the time they have taken to conduct the Proactive Assurance Review. We know both are going to provide eHA with the ability to grow and be successful.

US National War College Delegates Visit eHealth Africa Liberia

A team of delegates from the National War College led by Col. Mitchell recently visited the eHealth Africa (eHA) Liberia Office, and were welcomed by eHA Country Director Aurelio Gomes. Other eHA team members present to welcome the delegates were Program Manager Olivia Elee, Project Manager Aji J. Kalau, Operations Manager Sulaiman Sesay, and Health Informatics Manager Nathan Humphreys. The purpose of the visit was for the War College delegates to learn about eHA activities and operations in Liberia at the peak of the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak.

Aji Kalau presented an overview of eHA operations during the fight against the EVD outbreak. Mr Kalau explained that eHA operations began in September 2014 where support teams were set up, and National and County Emergency Operations Centers were established. eHA teams renovated specimen collection and blood testing labs, as well as community care centers.

Mr Kalau went on to describe how eHA developed IT related software to support contact tracing activities, as well as tools for monitoring each patient's status at the Ebola Treatment Units. eHA’s Country Director Aurelio Gomes spoke about the valuable support, partnerships, and funding that allowed eHA to provide the response needed to successfully combat the EVD outbreak in Liberia.

Col. Mitchell and his team responded to the presentation with questions about challenges encountered by eHA during the Ebola response, how these challenges were handled, and how set goals were achieved in spite of the challenges. The delegates also inquired about eHA’s experience working in a multicultural scene with diversity and partnership in the fight against EVD. All their inquiries were answered by the Country Director and eHA team members.

The delegates also talked about their experience in the field using cutting edge ehealth technology, especially in places where there is little to no internet connectivity available.

At the end of the meeting, the National War College team presented Liberia’s Country Director with a commemorative coin and a mug. Col. Mitchell expressed appreciation to eHA for agreeing to meet with his team, and also commended eHA for a job well-done in supporting Liberia’s Ministry of Health during the fight against the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

eHealth Africa At Liberia’s NGO Fair 2016

In late March, the Liberia International Non-Governmental Organization (LINGO) Forum collaborated with the National Civil Society Council to organize a non-governmental organization (NGO) fair in Monrovia, Liberia. This is the second annual event, and both African and International NGOs attended. This year’s theme was “Strengthening Partnerships.”

The LINGO Forum is composed of an international network of NGOs, and was established in Liberia in 1997. LINGO’s mission is to support and improve coordination between members through communication, information sharing, advocacy, liaison activities and capacity building.

Participants of the NGO Fair were welcomed to the event by Andrew Hoskins, the Country Director of Medical Team International. He spoke about the importance of the theme, and encourage continued attendance of future events. Frances Reeves, Chair for Liberia’s National Civil Society Council, encouraged NGOs to remain strong partners to the Government of Liberia.   

eHealth Africa demonstrates eHealth Tech

eHealth Africa (eHA) was represented by Country Director Aurelio Gomes at the organizations booth, where he was accompanied by other team members from the office.

Nathan Humphreys, Information Systems (IS) Manager, welcomed partners who visited eHA’s booth and discussed eHA’s work. “Technology used by eHA  is very good,” said one of the participants. “If we need data from the field, it takes months to reach the health facilities. But it now take less time, since the application used by eHA can register and send data within minutes,” he said. “I am very impressed, and will have to speak with my office about it.” 

The eHA team presented a video which showed how eHA’s data collection systems work, and followed this up with a real time data collection exercise. The team went from booth to booth using a smartphone to register information from other organizations. eHA data collectors Mark Miller and Israel Kollie sampled 118 individuals from 50 organizations. Data was then aggregated and displayed through graphics via a screen at the eHA booth. Age, gender, and the number of participants entered per organization data was collected.

This exercise showed the incredible value and effectiveness of eHA data collection and analysis capabilities.  Seventeen international NGOs took part in the exercise and were highly impressed with eHA’s health technology tools and opportunities for more prompt digital delivery of health information. Multiple organizations committed to follow up meetings and potential partnerships, in order to build their electronic capabilities in health delivery.

A Successful Event And An Interview On National TV

The fair was a great success. eHA built many great relationships, and looks forward to potential partnerships. eHA’s Country Director Aurelio Gomes was interviewed by reporter James Kaypo on Liberian television, and said “eHA is committed to being a strong local supporter for the Liberian Government’s health initiatives."

Watch the interview video below or on our YouTube channel