Welcome to our weekly #ICT4D News Roundup! We are passionate about the intersection of technology and social good. Each week we look for the best articles that focus on the ICT4D industry, the issues that impact the sectors we work across, and interesting content for social enterprises.
Highlighted articles this week:
- Learn how community health workers in Ethiopia helped reduce mortality rates of children under the age of five by more than 50 percent since 1990. – Gates Notes
- Why our “fail fast” approach in the technology industry may not apply in healthcare. – Dimagi
- Dr. Vanessa Kerry and former Secretary of State John Kerry discuss their work advocating for better access to healthcare for families around the world – Global Moms Challenge
- Can Artificial Intelligence provide us with the answer to sustainable farming? – Digital Trends
STRONG COFFEE, STRONGER WOMEN
Back in 2000, under the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, the Ethiopian government pledged to reduce death rates of children under five by at least two-thirds by 2015. At the time, the Ethiopian government didn’t have the resources to train a new workforce of doctors to provide healthcare to rural areas of the country, where a majority of the population lives. Instead, the government started a community health worker program that trained thousands of citizens to provide basic life-saving skills to their communities, and also to track their progress. Learn how this program helped Ethiopia achieve its target and why the program serves today as a model for other countries on how to take a “grassroots” and “data-driven” approach to public health.
One of the key reasons the program has been so effective is that the health workers are dedicated to measuring their progress. Covering nearly every square inch of the walls of the health post I visited were large charts, where the health workers would track births, immunizations, malaria cases, and other indicators. Each indicator helped them understand how well they were performing and which areas demanded more attention.”
FAILING FAST: DOES IT APPLY TO HEALTHCARE?
Dr. Neal Lesh, Dimagi’s Chief Strategy Officer, recently attended and presented at the 2017 SwitchPoint conference, organized by Intrahealth International. In this article, Dr. Lesh describes his experience at the conference, and why it made him reflect on the differences between approaches in the technology industry and healthcare. In tech, we often aim to “fail fast,” so we can learn from our mistakes and improve our technology quickly. But the stories told by healthcare professionals at the conference was a reminder that in the healthcare space, every failure can mean a “profound loss.”
I don’t want my health providers to fail fast.”
IN SERVICE TO FAMILIES AROUND THE WORLD
The Global Moms Challenge, started by the United Nations Foundation and Johnson & Johnson, is an initiative which seeks to raise awareness to the lack of healthcare many mothers and their children face around the world. In this article, the Global Moms Challenge highlights the work of Dr. Vanessa Kerry, co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health, an organization that seeks to address the vast shortages of health professionals around world.
There has to be greater recognition that skilled health workers are truly the backbone of a healthy world and a prerequisite to any enduring improvements in human well being. We need more nurses to walk the halls of the clinics and to deliver life-saving vaccines. We need more doctors to help communities recognize an outbreak, sound the alarm, and help mount the response. We need more midwives to deliver happy, healthy babies to happy, healthy new moms.”
P.S. Every time you ‘like’ and share the article above, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000, via the Global Moms Relay to help improve the health and well-being of families worldwide in support of Shot@Life, UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets.
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TO FEED A GROWING POPULATION, SCIENTISTS WANT TO UNLEASH AI ON AGRICULTURE
From this “Future of Food” series, Digital Trends explores the use of machine learning technology in agriculture. FarmView, a new research project by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, is attempting to incorporate new technologies, such as machine learning and drones, into everyday farming practices. The researchers believe that by doing so, not only would we be able to produce more food, and better quality food, but we would also save a lot of wasted resources that comes with current day agricultural practices.
We’re not doing this to replace people. What we’re doing is to introduce new technologies that can make farmers more efficient at what they do, and allow them to use fewer resources to do it…”
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