Partnerships

Building Ecosystems that Drive Change

Our experience and track record working to implement projects across our focus areas have shown us that without a unified, collaborative approach, interventions tend to be ineffective and sometimes, inappropriate for the contexts that we work in. We know that solutions and systems are more impactful when they are built in proximity to the environments in which they are needed, and in partnership with stakeholders who have a close grasp of the challenges to be addressed.

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Our goal is to build solutions that address local needs harnessing the power of technology and data. Therefore, we invest in growing the tech ecosystem and sharing our knowledge, lessons, and experience with our partners.
We host meetups and hackathons to create platforms for innovative organizations and individuals to share their work with the global tech community and to support governments with real, context-appropriate solutions to their development challenges. Recently, our GRID3 team partnered with CoLab Innovation Hub, the Kaduna State Bureau of Statistics (KDBS), the Kaduna State Budget and Planning Commission, the Kaduna State Government, and Kaduna ICT Hub to hold KadHack2018, a first of its kind hackathon aimed at providing software developers and stakeholders in the technology sector to engage the Kaduna state government and gain firsthand insight into the challenges in the Education and Health sectors, in order to come up with software prototypes that could be further developed to solve problems within those sectors.

Currently, most learning and education in Nigeria’s tech field are driven by the individuals themselves using resources, which are often external and not based on local challenges. An ecosystem should be self-sufficient. This means that members of the ecosystem should be able to learn, grow, earn and contribute to building the ecosystem. To this end, eHealth Africa is interested in further building the tech ecosystem in Kano State as a pipeline for developing tech talent to build solutions for the local context. Our software team is hosting its March tech meetup on the 30th of March, 2018 at the eHA Kano Campus by 12 pm. The event will feature in-depth knowledge sharing sessions with our team using real, relatable challenges and practical solutions. Read about our last meetups in Berlin and Kano.

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If you are interested in gaining more knowledge to build software solutions that address challenges in health, education, and agriculture, then, register to attend the event here.

eHealth Africa partners with the Global Healthsites Mapping Project

eHealth Africa is collaborating with The Global Healthsites Mapping project (Healthsites), in their efforts to build a global commons of health facility data using OpenStreetMap, a collaborative mapping initiative. The Healthsites project aims to improve outcomes in the medical and humanitarian sectors by establishing an accessible global baseline of health facility data. Taking an open data approach, Healthsites invites organizations to share health facility data and collaborate.

From routine reporting to emergency services, health facility data drives how national health ministries, international institutions, and private companies operate in a highly functioning health system.  While accuracy is vital for effective service delivery  health facility lists are frequently inaccurate, outdated, duplicated, incomplete, and not made available in open and accessible methods.

Definition of the scope, service provision capacities, laboratory capacities, and optimal catchment populations for emergency hospital care should be a priority.
— Access to emergency hospital care provided by the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015: a geocoded inventory and spatial analysis - The Lancet Global Health

One of the main barriers to easily accessible and accurate health facility data is a lack of interoperability between different information management systems, which is why working with open data structures and in partnership with different organizations is important. Healthsites’ approach builds on open source standards and technologies implemented by the Open Health Information Exchange Community (OpenHIE). This data sharing strengthens the ability of health authorities in underserved areas to more easily create and update accurate health facility registries.

Data collectors in rural Northern Nigeria

Data collectors in rural Northern Nigeria

Creating a Global Health Facility Dataset

The project was launched on  March 3, 2016, at the Global Partnership for Humanitarian Impact and Innovation in response the Ebola outbreak in West Africa with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Kartoza.

By providing relevant data on health facilities around the globe we can strengthen health systems, improve emergency care, and save lives. For underserved areas, it has been estimated that improving emergency care can lead to a 45% reduction in mortality rates and a 36% reduction in disability.
— Access to emergency hospital care provided by the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015: a geocoded inventory and spatial analysis - The Lancet Global Health

Creating and maintaining a global health facility dataset requires collaboration--current project partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), the International Hospital Federation, and CartONG. To make the project successful worldwide, Healthsites is inviting organizations to support their work in areas including Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the Digital Square Global Goods program.


The primary use cases include:

Epidemic Preparedness:
Accurate healthcare facility data is vital to respond to outbreaks, prepare for an influx of cases, and to make decisions regarding resource allocation.

Support for disaster response:
Accurate and up-to-date data provides the basic data that helps drive activities like service availability planning, monitoring and evaluation, and disaster risk preparedness.

Support for immunization programs:
Information on the location of health care providers is important for immunization planning on the national scale.

Maternity care:
Open and accurate health care facility data is a valuable resource for pregnant women looking for support when planning a birth.

eHealth Africa and Healthsites

eHA’s technology is key to enabling Healthsites’ vision of a health facility global commons. Gather, eHA’s human-mediated data collection and curation application will be used to crowdsource facility information and widen the scope of the project.  Healthsites will also utilize eHA’s Aether platform to facilitate interoperability and allow for a large-scale exchange of data between numerous organizations.

eHA’s extensive experience in West Africa working with health facility data collection and presentation will facilitate the advocacy of open data and data sharing with the Global Healthsites Mapping Project within the region.

The eHA team, setting out on another data collection campaign. Mobile phones are used to capture geospatial data from the field.

The eHA team, setting out on another data collection campaign. Mobile phones are used to capture geospatial data from the field.

The data life cycle starts with crowdsourcing facility data. Collected information is then sent into Healthsites platform where the data goes through a quality check and enrichment processes to make sure that the information is updated and relevant. Once validated, Aether allows the data to be shared in CKAN, OSM, HDX and later on with OpenHIE, making sure the open data community can contribute to this ambitious project as well. The idea is to foster a  "data collaborative" approach, which continuously involves more people that can contribute and benefit from information sharing.

 

The Data Cycle

 
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By enhancing the quality and accessibility of health facility data, this project can have an impressive impact on multiple sectors. Not only can the database help save lives in emergency response situations by facilitating access to emergency care, but also it can improve health outcomes in a wide variety of ways such as strengthening diseases surveillance systems or facilitating medical supply planning and the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns.

Validated open health facility data is a supporting framework for social entrepreneurs

Validated open health facility data is a supporting framework for social entrepreneurs

The public sector is not the only beneficiary; entrepreneurs in the private sector also benefit from access to this information. Healthsites provides a web API that allows applications and web services to be created or enhanced to utilize accurate health facility information.  This enables use cases that go beyond simply locating health facilities and medical services. Expanding business opportunities and enabling efficient use of available resources increases the size of the community who will help collect and maintain the data.

Healthsites is improving health capacity data in West Africa and supporting the development of data collaboratives. This is a global project that needs partners to enhance its impact. Get in touch and help us build a global commons of baseline health facility data with OpenStreetMap here.










FIND Visits Kano State

During the month of August, eHealth Systems Africa in collaboration with THINKMD, FIND and Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (KSPHCMB) implemented the second phase of the pilot study of the eHealth platform MEDSINC. In the first phase of the pilot, Community Health Workers (CHWs) in 15 health facilities across Kano state had been trained to use the platform and carry out physician like clinical assessments on ill children between the age of 2 months and 5 years of age. At the completion of their training the CHWs received a training certificate during a conferment ceremony. Taking from the success of the first phase, a new version of MEDSINC was developed and combined with malaria rapid diagnostic tests to guide CHWs through clinical assessment, malaria diagnosis and management. This phase of the pilot was implemented in 5 health facilities across five metropolitan Local Government Areas.

Last week, FIND representative, Dr. Karell Pellé, visited eHealth Systems Africa and met with the Executive Secretary of Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (KSPHCMB), Dr. Nasir Mahmoud, to discuss ongoing plans for scaling up the use of mHealth tools to improve clinical diagnosis of childhood illnesses. She also visited some of the pilot health facilities in Kano State to interact with the CHWs and observe first-hand how quality of care and health delivery had been improved in those facilities.

Come one, Come Tech Enthusiasts!

By Emmanuel Monehin

We, at eHealth Africa are passionate about growth and learning. Not only do we push ourselves to grow and learn, we actively share knowledge with partners and interested individuals with the aim of inspiring positive change.

Last weekend at our Kano campus, eHealth Africa in collaboration with EnovateLab hosted a tech meetup, an initiative aimed at encouraging the development of local tech champions and entrepreneurs, especially in the areas of health delivery, nutrition and food security systems and, social impact in Kano State, Nigeria.

Click through the slideshow to find out what happened at the meetup.

A Strong Partnership: Kano State and eHealth Africa

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The Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board renovation project provides the right facilities for staff to deliver crucial primary health care interventions across Kano State.

eHealth Africa (eHA) is finalizing a project with the Executive Secretary (ES) of the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (KSPHCMB), Dr. Muhammed Nasir Mahmoud, to renovate and upgrade the KSPHCMB’s Offices in Kano, Nigeria.

eHA worked for one month with the KSPHCMB to renovate the building and outside areas. Internet, solar panels, electricity and other facilities were added to provide a better work environment for the Executive Secretary and over 50 staff working for the KSPHCMB. “I believe if one has a conducive environment to work in with the right equipment, tools, and facilities, there should be no reason for people not to work effectively,” said Dr. Mahmoud.

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Dr. Mahmoud, has been in the role for over six months, and has seen a real difference in how stakeholders and visitors now see the board’s work through the building’s renovations. He manages the day to day activities of the KSPHCMB, and also oversees the activities of 1,143 Healthcare Facilities in 44 Local Government Areas of Kano State.

“When I came, the place had a lot of issues and was dilapidated,” said Dr. Mahmoud. “The renovations have built up KSPHCMB’s portfolio and general standing in the community. People come here everyday now, and are always impressed with the changes they see, which makes me proud to head this organisation.”

"Today’s world is a technological world, and without technology people will continue to be disadvantaged. I believe the innovations of eHA will continue to benefit us and other sectors in Kano." - Dr. Muhammed Nasir Mahmoud

The renovation project is one component of the joint work and long term partnership between  eHA and the KSPHCMB to improve primary health care in Kano State. Kano State has many challenges in health care delivery because of security issues and physical challenges in reaching remote locations. This results in the most vulnerable segments of society falling severely ill with preventable and treatable diseases including malaria, tapeworms, ulcers and diarrhea.

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Collaboration projects between eHA and KSPHCMB include the management and coordination of immunizations across the state, a health communication system (Kano Connect), management of Emergency Operation Centers, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tracking, and the implementation of Health Camps linked to monthly Immunization Plus Day (IPD) campaigns. Another collaboration is Vaccine Direct Delivery, which takes vaccines from KSPHCMB cold stores and directly delivers them to rural health facilities.

“I have been partnering with eHealth Africa for many years,” said Dr. Mahmoud,”and we are currently working on signing a MoU to strengthen communication within the primary health care system. I know there are many areas where we will continue to partner with eHA, and I hope we will continue to explore these other areas. Today’s world is a technological world, and without technology people will continue to be disadvantaged. I believe the innovations of eHA will continue to benefit us and other sectors in Kano.”