The Grameen Foundation, an organization dedicated to poverty alleviation through microfinance, technological and financial services, has announced new technology initiatives to improve the delivery of healthcare and information services in Ghana and Uganda.
Using grants received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in excess of US$4.7 million, the Grameen Foundation plans to develop mobile applications in support of the initiatives.
Alexis Counts, President and CEO of the Foundation, says: “Mobile devices are fast becoming the channel for sharing a wide range of information and knowledge across the developing world, but the focus has been more on high-end devices,”
The first initiative will enable nurses in Ghana to enter patient information into a mobile device, thereby bypassing the current paper-based system, which is time consuming. This will free up their time, enabling more focus on hands-on, primary healthcare for patients.
The second project will attempt to build a network to disseminate knowledge between rural farmers in Uganda. The network will provide critical agricultural information to farmers, while also connecting them to trading markets and other resources.
Counts continues: “We hope our initiatives in Ghana and Uganda will show how basic mobile phones can be tools for providing services that benefit the rural poor and other disadvantaged communities.”