Our Values

Our Iftar Celebration

eHealth Africa is a team of people from diverse cultures, educational backgrounds, and experiences, united by the desire to build stronger health systems across Africa.

One of our values at eHealth Africa is ownership—we work hard to become embedded in the fabric of the communities which we work in and we invest our time, ideas and resources to ensure that the quality of life in those communities is improved.

This week, our staff in Kano and Abuja hosted an Iftar celebration for members of neighboring communities. Iftar breaks the daylong fast that Muslims must observe during the month of Ramadan. eHA staff came together to distribute food packs and clothes to over 500 people in Kano and 200 people in Abuja. Our aim was to give back to the communities that we live and work in.

Here are pictures from the event in Kano. Ramadan Kareem!

My Internship at eHealth Africa Helped me Find my Path

My name is Juliana Jacob and I am a Helpdesk associate with the IT Engineering and Operations team.  I studied Mass Communication at Kogi State University and I am currently studying to earn my Masters in Public Relations at Bayero University, Kano. Up until January 2018 when I became an intern with the Helpdesk/ Network Operating Center at eHealth Africa, all I could think about was pursuing a career that would put me in the limelight and make me a household name.

Everything changed during my National Youth Service year in 2016. I worked at the Nassarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS) as a Radio/TV presenter but I had the opportunity to participate in a project as a data collector/ enumerator. I visited settlements in very remote and hard-to-reach locations and saw first-hand the deplorable state of health care in those communities. Many health facilities were dilapidated and had no vaccines or medicines. I decided there and then that I had to play my own part to improve healthcare for the people in such communities.

Someone told me about an eHealth Africa internship placement. I was immediately interested because eHA was a NGO and I knew it would give me the opportunity to touch lives in some way. I am not sure what I expected but when I found out that I would be placed with the Helpdesk/ Network Operating Center, I was worried. I didn’t see any similarities between my background in Mass Communications or my prior experience as an on-air person and working in Information Technology (IT). I had very little knowledge about IT or what it entailed, prior to this internship. My only experience with IT was a course that I took as an undergraduate student.

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My time as an intern was the most challenging experience of my adult life but it was also the most enlightening. The Helpdesk is perhaps the busiest unit in the entire organization because it supports the delivery of all the projects in some capacity. We make sure that every team member has all the digital tools that they need to deliver their results. The helpdesk also functions as a customer call center and provides support, information, and solutions to eHA staff and partners. Working at the helpdesk helped me to internalize and exhibit the eHA values especially innovative problem-solving. In no time, I found that I had gained valuable skills such as interpersonal communications, and time and task management.

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I have become familiar with IT terms and concepts—that I never thought I would encounter. I have fallen in love with IT and what is so amazing that I did not have an IT or tech background. Everything I know about IT and network operations, I learned from my team at eHealth Africa. Not only were they patient with me, but they also recommended several courses and seminars for my own personal development.

At first, I didn’t think that I could really be of any help to the communities with poor healthcare if I was not on the field or if I was not in the medical profession but my internship with the Helpdesk proved to me that everyone can do something to improve the quality of healthcare for vulnerable populations or communities. At eHealth Africa, everyone brings their strengths to the table and contributes their quota to achieve our mission and vision. We have staff who are not medical doctors or nurses but contribute to the improvement of health service delivery through their expertise in software development, logistics, construction or communications.

In February 2018, I became a full-time staff at eHA. One of the things I love most about eHealth Africa is that it focuses on applied knowledge rather than theoretical knowledge. To a large extent, what matters is getting the job done and not what you studied in school. This is why an intern with a Mass Communications background can become a full-time staff in one of the most technical fields in the organization.

My internship experience helped me to discover what I truly want to do career-wise. Even though my masters is in Public Relations, I have decided to pursue a career in IT. I am currently taking several online courses to attain some certifications in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). There are so many intersections between PR and ICT and I cannot wait to explore them.

I am truly grateful to my team and to eHA for this opportunity. If you are looking for an organization with bright, progressive people who are passionate about transforming health systems in Africa, eHA is definitely the place for you.

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.