Provincial Medical Office of Nairobi, Communications Commission of Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Axesstel, RTI International and Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM), through its Wireless Reach™ initiative, today announced an event at the Kasarani Health Center their collaboration to implement a wireless health care project in Kenya that will improve HIV/AIDS treatment in Nairobi during. The project harnesses the benefits of advanced 3G wireless technology to make the supply of antiretroviral medicines (ARVs) more efficient.
HIV/AIDS is one of Kenya's most pressing health concerns and offering antiretroviral treatment (ART) is a key component of the government's strategy to reduce HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. Nairobi currently has more than 20 ART sites under the supervision of the Provincial Medical Office (PMO). The initial project coverage is focused on 16 sites that receive their antiretroviral medicines exclusively from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA). Information and telecommunications capabilities at the ART centers are limited to VHF radios with no official telephone line connections. This hampers the ability of health workers to communicate with KEMSA and to consult with other health workers, particularly pharmacists, at district and provincial levels. The ART centers also lack computers and relevant accessories that would assist in the management of medicines.
“A reliable, uninterrupted supply of ARVs is crucial to the success of antiretroviral therapy,” said Dr. Samuel Ochola, provincial director of public health and sanitation, Nairobi. “Our current supply management system is characterized by tedious and time consuming manual maintenance of records, which is a heavy burden considering the shortage of human resources. Automating the process will enhance the record keeping and reporting processes and help us provide more efficient care to those affected by HIV/AIDS.”
Through its Wireless Reach initiative, Qualcomm is working together with project participants to equip the ART centers with computers, software and wireless broadband connectivity based on CDMA2000® Rev. A technology to facilitate the online communication and transmission of reports. The project is also providing technical support, training and capacity building to ensure long-term sustainability and promote scalability.
Health centers will receive computers and support equipment needed for wireless connectivity. The computers will be connected to Telkom Kenya's Orange Broadband network, based on CDMA2000 Rev. A technology, using modems provided by Axesstel. The upgrade will facilitate online reporting to KEMSA and improve coordination between the health care centers, the districts and the PMO.
“In countries like Kenya, with the challenges implied in the expansion of fixed-line broadband networks, 3G wireless technology allows us to overcome these constraints,” said Dominque Saint Jean, chief executive officer of Telkom Kenya. “Telkom Kenya's Rev. A network gives users high-speed access to the Internet via computers and other mobile devices. We are pleased to be supporting this project by enabling advanced communications between facilities so health care workers can share critical information with each other, with referral hospitals and with KEMSA.”
“We serve emerging markets and are committed to the goal of universal connectivity,” said Clark Hickock, chief executive officer of Axesstel. “We are excited to be able to provide assistance for such a worthy cause and work with Telkom Kenya to supply an innovative communications solution for this project. Axesstel's next-generation, feature-rich fixed wireless voice and broadband data devices have proven value to advanced wireless network operators throughout the world. We look forward to being a part of this Wireless Reach program and delivering our valuable service to this region.”
The project implementation is being managed by RTI along with the PMO and will make use of open source software designed by RTI, which is derived from the manual recording system for managing antiretrovirals throughout Kenya. The new system will be adapted for use in the health centers. Capacity building will also be provided for trainers who will be responsible for teaching PC skills and the new software to health care workers at the ART sites. CCK will support the acquisition and installation of computer hardware and software, amongst other accessories, in five health facilities in accordance with the RTI specifications. Dell Inc. also provided Vostro desktop computers and peripherals as a donation in support of the project.
The long-term goal is to produce a software and communication system that is locally sustainable and scalable to other health centers within Nairobi and other provinces. Ultimately, the same system could be extended to manage all pharmaceuticals.
“Cellular wireless connectivity is putting Kenya on a new path to development,” said Mr. Charles J.K. Njoroge, director general of Communications Commission of Kenya. “This project is a great example of how public-private partnerships and the power of technology can be used to improve the quality of life by providing a critical service to Kenyans.” The Commission supports the project as part of its involvement in public-private partnerships and delivery of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to the underserved population in Kenya.
“By providing the public health centers with 3G connectivity, we are creating a communication network that will bring more efficient care at faster speeds to patients in need,” said Jeffrey A. Jacobs, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Qualcomm. “Qualcomm is delighted to aid health care providers and to help close the digital divide by supporting the implementation of Telkom Kenya's Rev. A network.”
About the Provincial Medical Office of Nairobi
The Provincial Medical Office of Nairobi is charged with the responsibility of monitoring and supervising health care services in Nairobi to ensure that they adhere to the required standards of health care delivery as articulated by the Ministry of Health.
The PMO additionally coordinates the operations of government health care facilities within the city through the District Health Management Offices, which are co-staffed and co-funded by the Ministries of Medical Services; Public Health and Sanitation and Local Government.
The goal of the PMO is to avail health care, including ART, services as close as possible to the majority of the population of Nairobi. One of the most important goals of the PMO is to ensure that even health centers in the poorly accessible areas of the city (characterized by poor infrastructure and inadequate communication facilities) are able to provide health services including ART. In this endeavor, the PMO collaborates with various development partners and stakeholders to strengthen its health care delivery systems.
About the Communications Commission of Kenya
The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is the independent regulatory authority for the communications sector, responsible for the regulation of telecommunications, radiocommunication and postal services in Kenya.
Established by the Kenya Communications Act (KCA) No. 2 of 1998, CCK is charged with the responsibility of licensing operators and service providers in telecommunications, postal and radiocommunications sub-sectors, monitoring compliance of licensees against their license conditions, managing the frequency spectrum and protecting consumers within the communications environment.
CCK is financially and administratively independent, transparent in its processes and protects the rights of both operators and consumers. It is funded through annual license fees and spectrum management fees. CCK officially commenced its operations on 1st July 1999.
About Telkom Kenya
Telkom Kenya is Kenya's national telecommunications operator. With fixed network, mobile and internet services, it is the only truly integrated telecommunication solutions provider in the country. In December 2007, the Kenyan operator entered a landmark partnership with France Telecom - one of the world's leading telecommunication companies.
The partnership has helped revamp Telkom Kenya through investments in all levels of the business including infrastructure, technology and staff, as well as providing a strategic global alliance enabling Telkom Kenya to provide world class services. Orange is Telkom Kenya's commercial brand.
Telkom Kenya is committed to contributing positively to various non profit efforts and health is of particular importance. Telkom Kenya aims to work in partnership with others to build stronger local communities, to minimize its environmental footprint, create an enabling working environment, to promote diversity and to be responsive to the community's health and well being. (visit www.telkom.co.ke or www.orange.co.ke)
Axesstel (AMEX:AFT) is a recognized industry leader in the design and development of fixed wireless voice and broadband data products. Axesstel's best in class product portfolio includes broadband modems, 3G gateways, expresscards, voice/data terminals, fixed wireless desktop phones and public call office phones for high-speed data and voice calling services. The company delivers innovative fixed wireless solutions to leading telecommunications operators and distributors worldwide. Axesstel is headquartered in San Diego, California with a research and development center in Seoul, South Korea. For more information on Axesstel, visit www.axesstel.com . (C) The Axesstel logo is a trademark of Axesstel, Inc.
RTI International (RTI) is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) research organization founded in 1958 as a collaboration between state government (North Carolina), area universities and businesses. RTI International is one of the world's leading research institutes, dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. With projects in more than 40 countries and a staff of more than 2,600, RTI offers innovative research and technical solutions to governments and businesses worldwide in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, education and training, surveys and statistics, advanced technology, democratic governance, economic and social development, energy, and the environment. RTI has corporate offices in El Salvador, Indonesia, Poland, South Africa, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom and is headquartered in the United States.
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. The Company's Wireless Reach initiative supports programs and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to developing communities globally. Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care and reach global markets. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on CDMA and other advanced technologies. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 100 Index, the S&P 500 Index and is a 2008 FORTUNE 500® company. For more information, please visit www.qualcomm.com.