• Initiatives (181)
  • Open Health Information Mediator

    Open Health Information Mediator (OpenHIM) is an interoperability layer: a software component that eases integration between disparate information systems by connecting client and infrastructure components together. It's an inititaive of Jembi Health Systems, an orgaisation based in South Africa. Its role is to provide a facade to client systems -- providing a single point-of-control for defining web service APIs and adapting and orchestrating requests between infrastructure services. The OpenHIM also provides security, client management and transaction monitoring.

    The OpenHIM was initially developed as part of the Rwandan Health Enterprise Architecture project in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and was further developed as part of the OpenHIE initiative, where it serves as an interoperability layer reference implementation. The OpenHIM tool is also supported through various implementation projects that continue to support its growth to meet real world needs and project requirements.

    The core functions that it provides to allow this to happen are explained below.

    Allow interoperability between many, different systems Adapt and scale within a changing environment Ensure systems can be developed independently and not affect the functioning of the other systems in the HIE. Provide a low barrier to entry to connect new and legacy systems
  • OpenHIE

    The Open Health Information Exchange (OpenHIE) is one of the tools available to African countries to help them access their high quality health information. Access to reliable data allows doctors, nurses, and other health workers to understand their patients’ medical conditions and help to improve quality, safety and efficiency.

    OpenHIE’s architecture comprises many components that can hold health information from various points of care and gather them into an integrated EHR. It secures the transmission of health information in databases, between facilities, and across regions or countries. The tool enables collaboration between health workers and interoperability (IOp). It also offers long term sustainability if countries can finance its running costs and provide people with the skills and knowledge to develop and run it.

    OpenHIE is a global, open source collaboration that can help African countries to strengthening their national health information exchanges for. It emerged from the Health Informatics Public Private Partnership (HIPPP) initiative funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The partnership was started to support development of the Rwanda Health Enterprise Architecture (RHEA) Project, a shared EHR created for expectant mothers visiting antenatal clinics in the Rwamagana district. The project later expanded to support other areas of primary and secondary care.

    As the benefits of the RHEA implementation became apparent, interest gathered from other countries looking to implement their own health information technologies. It’s now being used in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

  • OpenMRS

    OpenMRS started in 2004 as an open source MRS platform for developing countries. It’s a non-profit collaborative led by Regenstrief Institute and Partners In Health that uses healthcare and advocacy to improve the lives of underprivileged people.

    OpenMRS is a software platform and a reference application. It enables people with no programming knowledge to design customised medical records systems. Countries planning to adopt it must set up a team with a developed knowledge of both medical and systems analysis and apply this with a minimal use of free text and maximum use of coded information, so it’s not for the uninitiated. These teams can customise it for a range of medical information, with a core of diagnosis, tests, procedures, drugs and other general questions and potential answers. OpenMRS is a client-server application, which means it is designed to work in an environment where many client computers access the same information on a server.

  • Pharmacology Science Gateway

    This e-Science platform simplifies collaboration and sharing of resources in Africa. Therefore, it serves to promote and implement African medical science collaboration focusing on biomedical and pharmacological sciences and clinical trials and clinical drug studies for improving African healthcare. The platform makes accessible open sources software for study designs, biomedical data processing and facilities for sharing data and discussing scientific and technical topics of interest to network members. The platform also effectively enables north-south and south-south capacity and capability strengthening as African researchers and their international collaborators will get an easy accessible arena of interaction.

    It is supported by the EU-project eI4Africa (www.ei4africa.eu), Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Italian National of Nuclear Physics, University of Catania and Consorzio COMETA (Italy),  Brunel University (United Kingdom) and optionally IUPHAR (International Union of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology). It will be hosted by the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST) in Harare which leads a network of African researchers.

    This network currently includes AIBST (African Institute of Biomedical Science & Technology www.aibst.com of Zimbabwe) collaborating with Muhimbili University (Tanzania), Makerere University (Uganda), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Cape Town (South Africa), and Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria).

    The power and value of this e-Infrastructure will depend on the input and suggestions and sharing between institutions and persons.  This African Pharmacology Science Gateway supports open access of software and research resources.


    Patients’ Research, Empowerment, Vigilance, and Education Through New Technologies, also known as the PREVENT initiative is working to stop fake and counterfeit medicines entering the supply chain in Ghana. It aims to do this using a three pronged approach by:

    Improving vigilance Empowering patients Educating the public.

    The initiative is encouraging people to visit its website for important tips and alerts on how to keep safe and avoid fake medicines. partners are also using a number of social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Watsapp, to engage with Ghanaians on the issues of using counterfeit drugs.

    To test the authenticity of their medical supplies, patients simply have to scratch off the panel on a pack of medicine, and then text the revealed PIN for free to shortcode 1393. They’ll then receive a response about their medicine’s authenticity.

  • Rapid Expansion Program (RAcE) for iCCM and CMAM Pilots

    The 2015 RAcE / NICe Project (Niger Integrated Child Health Service) was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health of Niger and the WHO. It is based on the management of diseases of children 2-59 months old at the community level through rural community health workers (CHWs). Faced with the challenges of global data management at different levels of the health system, especially the community level, an approach to the collection and processing of data by mobile phones (mHealth) is being implemented in the intervention area of the 2015 RAcE / NICe project. This innovation will not only improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI), but also provide a tool for CHW advice and support for the newly initiated health roles.

    The mHealth solution has been designed to lead CHWs through a diagnosis and decision making process using response-triggered decision tree algorithms to ensure adherence to the iCCM standardized protocol, improving diagnosis and treatment outcomes. Automated referral initiation and tracking facilitates transfer between community and health facilities. Automatic reminders are used to schedule child follow-up and to alert CHWs to take action at the critical follow-up times. Multimedia has been integrated for targeted counseling to improve caregiver behaviors and improve treatment adherence. Mobile phones were introduced to support this pilot period through CHWs. Like any health programming, the application takes into account national policies and strategies in the field of maternal and child health enforced in the country.

    The CMAM mHealth solution is deployed at the health facility level and provides health workers with an easy-to-use case management information resource—simple and powerful decision making and patient tracking tools enable a full continuum of care from the home to the health center. The application provides a dynamic link between frontline patient treatment data with program performance reporting and stock management to improve monitoring, evaluation and real-time decision making to save the lives of children receiving treatment for acute malnutrition. Specialized functions to support the detailed protocol components of CMAM have been developed, including supplementary feeding, outpatient therapeutic care, and stabilization center. The functional areas include response-triggered decision tree algorithms for protocol adherence and automatic reminders to allow for scheduling follow-up visits for a child and to alert when there is lost-to-follow-up. Referral notifications are attached to individual patient records, allowing data on treatment adherence and symptoms to be viewed by multiple health workers along the continuum. 

  • RapidPro

    UNICEF has launched RapidPro, an open-source platform of applications for international development. The announcement was made in a press release 22 September 2014.

    RapidPro pulls together award winning applications like U-report, Project Mwana and RapidFTR into one easy-to-understand bundle. The initiative aims to help governments deliver rapid and vital real-time information and connect communities to lifesaving services. RapidPro was developed by UNICEF’s global Innovations Labs in collaboration with Nyuruka, a software development firm in Rwanda. RapidPro is already being used in several countries. Governments and partners can download the basic apps and customize them for their own needs. In Zambia, U-report is used to send simple text messages to link people to the National AIDS Council. The Ministry of Health (MOH) uses the SMS application to send messages about the disease and encourage people to get tested.

    Since its launch in 2012, over 50,000 young people have been referred to anonymous counselling services, and voluntary testing among U-reporters rose to 40%, significantly higher than the 24% national average. In Liberia, UNICEF and the MOH has launched Mobile Health Worker Ebola Response and Outreach (mHero), another application available on RapidPro. mHero supports efforts to fight the rising Ebola epidemic. It reports new cases, broadcasts messages about care and prevention, shares training information, and supports real-time coordination between the MOH and healthcare workers.In the coming months, more applications will be made available through the platform. The platform will provide performance data and reports on service distribution, staffing and the state of critical supplies. RapidPro’s potential to expand and support health services is substantial.

  • RapidSMS

    RapidSMS is a toolset for rapidly building SMS (text message) services for data collection, streamlining complex workflows, and group coordination using basic mobile phones — and can present information on the internet as soon as it is received.

    So far RapidSMS has been customized and deployed with diverse functionality: remote health diagnostics, nutrition surveillance, supply chain tracking, registering children in public health campaigns, and community discussion.

    RapidSMS was designed to be customized for the challenges of governments, multilateral, international- and non-government organizations, and development practitioners: working effectively in spite of geographical remoteness of constituents, limited infrastructure (roads, electricity), and slow data collection (due to paper-based records, slow courier systems, etc).

    RapidSMS was initially created by UNICEF's Innovation Unit in 2007 to support UNICEF's data collection and youth engagement activities. Developers from Caktus Group, Meraka Institute, Entropy Free LLC, Dimagi, Columbia University's Earth Institute, and ThoughWorks have been major contributors to RapidSMS since the project's inception. UNICEF's Innovation Unit and UNICEF's country offices continue to support development of RapidSMS and related software.

    RapidSMS alerts to monitor pregnancy and reduce maternal and child deaths in Rwanda. 

  • REDISSE Project

    The development objectives of the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Project are:

    (i)                  to strengthen national and regional cross-sectoral capacity for collaborative disease surveillance and epidemic preparedness in West Africa; and

    (ii)                in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response to said eligible crisis or emergency.

    The project has five components as follows:

    1) The first component, Surveillance and Information Systems, will support the enhancement of national surveillance and reporting systems and their interoperability at the different tiers of the health systems. It has three sub components as follows:

     (i) Support coordinated community-level surveillance systems and processes across the animal and human health sectors;

    (ii) Develop capacity for interoperable surveillance and reporting systems; and

    (iii) Establish an early warning system for infectious disease trends prediction.

    2) The second component, Strengthening of Laboratory Capacity, aims to establish networks of efficient, high quality, accessible public health, veterinary and private laboratories for the diagnosis of infectious human and animal diseases, and to establish a regional networking platform to improve collaboration for laboratory investigation. It has three sub components as follows:

     (i) Review, upgrade and support network laboratory facilities;

    (ii) Improve data management and specimen management; and

    (iii)               Enhance regional reference laboratory networking functions.

    3)      The third component, Preparedness and Emergency Response, will support national and regional efforts to enhance infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response capacity. It has three sub components

  • Reduction of maternal mortality through ICT

    In this project text messaging is being used to assess client satisfaction in the target communities on the health services they receive and to disseminate information on maternal health to communities. Community members will also be able to ask questions and get feedback on pertinent issues such as danger signs in pregnancy.

    In the feedback, the target group will also provide their opinions on the quality of services which will be used in dialogues with providers to improve services.

    The project target group is the community members aged 15-49 who are in the reproductive age group. The community advocates will further train and mobilize communities on maternal health.

    The project objectives are:

    1) To establish/ strengthen confidential mechanisms for obtaining feedback and responding to feedback on maternal health rights and services for community members and health workers through information sharing by 2014

    2) To lobby and advocate for maternal health rights through data collection, documentation and dissemination of this information to all stakeholders by 2014 using ICT tools.