May 2, 2013
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For more than a decade, GBCHealth has been presenting the Business Action on Health Awards to companies that exemplify a spirit of innovation and help set the agenda for addressing today's most important global health challenges.
In addition to congratulating the other commended organizations and winners, we’d like to thank GBCHealth for recognizing our work in South Africa with the Mobile Health Information System (MHIS) project. Every day, people in Sub-Saharan Africa die unnecessarily from infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia and diarrhea.1 With only 17.4 percent of the population in South Africa having Internet access, doctors and patients alike are isolated from global conversations on health and without access to the latest information on epidemics or clinical content for patient management.2
Enhancing health care workers’ access to relevant clinical information is vital to improving health service delivery. The purpose of the MHIS project is to build capacity and empower professional nurses and doctors in urban and rural settings in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, by creating an effective, real-time electronic system for health information access. This is a breakthrough in mobile health technologies in Africa because the project enables medical professionals to better diagnose and treat patients at the point of care.
When I visited the project in June 2012 to assist with training, one MHIS project participant, Dr. O.T Adeboye, who works in the rural Cofimvaba hospital, relayed to me “…the books in the mobile library are really helpful when diagnosing patients and for quickly checking drug guidelines. They are very handy...I am impressed with this technology and I have all the information I need to manage my patients in the palm of my hand. It is amazing. It will be nice for all the doctors at the district level to have access to the tablets.”
Wireless Reach’s work with the MHIS project is the result of many years of knowledge and experience in building strong aliances and implementing technology programs in Africa. I’d like to give a special thanks to our project partners for their hard work and dedication, which allowed us to be nominated and recognized by GBCHealth. With the goal of improving health worldwide, MHIS is working to meet the information poverty challenge and, using mobile technology, change the way health care providers access much-needed information.
For more information on this and other Wireless Reach projects in health that use 3G mobile broadband technologies to provide access to information, help lower costs, facilitate remote care, increase efficiencies and better connect people to their doctors, please visit the Wireless Reach Health Care webpage here.