UNICEF

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Africa’s First Humanitarian Drone Testing Corridor Launched in Malawi

Press Release | UNICEF | June 29, 2017

The Government of Malawi and UNICEF today launched an air corridor to test potential humanitarian use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones. The corridor is the first in Africa and one of the first globally with a focus on humanitarian and development use. It is centred on Kasungu Aerodrome, in central Malawi, with a 40km radius (80km diameter) and is designed to provide a controlled platform for the private sector, universities and other partners to explore how UAVs can be used to help deliver services that will benefit communities...

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After Ebola, Liberia’s Health System on Path to Recovery

World Bank | Relief Web | June 7, 2017

Shirley Kamara, 37, an expectant mother, smiled as she received medical care at C.H. Rennie Hospital in Kakata, just over 40 miles (68 km) north of Monrovia. “Our hospital is far better now since the Ebola outbreak,” she said. “We are encouraging our people to come here because everything is getting better.” C.H. Rennie Hospital in Liberia’s Margibi County was one of the facilities hardest-hit during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in 2014; 14 of its health workers died...

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Bill Gates Won’t Save You From The Next Ebola

Robert Fortner | Huffington Post | April 30, 2017

In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis. In the five months before Frieden’s visit, Ebola had spread from a village in Guinea, across borders and into cities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Médecins Sans Frontières, the first international responder on the scene, had run out of staff to treat the rising numbers of sick people and had deemed the outbreak “out of control” back in June...

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Bill Gates Won’t Save You From The Next Ebola Outbreak

Robert Fortner and Alex Park | HuffPost | May 1, 2017

In late August 2014, Tom Frieden, then director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traveled to West Africa to assess the raging Ebola crisis. In the five months before Frieden’s visit, Ebola had spread from a village in Guinea, across borders and into cities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Médecins Sans Frontières, the first international responder on the scene, had run out of staff to treat the rising numbers of sick people and had deemed the outbreak “out of control” back in June...

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Condom Airborne Meds: 6 Ways Drones Could Change Health Care

Max Blau | STAT | June 13, 2017

Drones have been used to deliver sunscreen to a conference in Palm Springs, Calif., and pizza to a family in New Zealand, but they’re also in the air for far more urgent purposes — such as saving lives. In fact, in some cases, drones could carry defibrillators to heart attack victims faster than an ambulance, according to a paper published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers simulated emergency situations and found they could get automatic external defibrillators to the scene an average of 16 minutes faster by drone than by ambulance...

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Dedicated Engineering Team in South Africa Deploys Open Source Tools, Save Lives

In 2006, a groundbreaking TED talk used statistics to reveal surprising insights about the developing world, including how many people in South Africa have HIV despite free and available anti-retroviral drugs. Gustav Praekelt, founder of Praekelt.org, heard this TED talk and began tenaciously calling a local hospital to convince them to start an SMS program that would promote anti-retrovirals. The program that resulted from those calls became txtAlert—a successful and widely recognized mobile health program that dramatically improves medical appointment adherence and creates a free channel for patients to communicate with the hospital...

Drones and the Future of Disaster Response

Four continental states and one U.S. territory took a beating this fall as one natural disaster after another rocked communities in Northern California and along the Gulf Coast, spreading disaster relief resources and personnel thin as federal, state, and local governments scrabbled to address the crises. Wildfires in California's wine country claimed at least 42 lives, 8,400 structures, and 245,000 acres of land in October. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma pummeled Louisiana, Texas, and Florida only to be followed by Hurricane Maria, which slammed Puerto Rico on September 20 and left much of the U.S. territory without communications systems, electricity, clean water, or functioning hospitals....

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Every Picture Tells a Story, and Nowhere More Important Than in Health

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn | Health Populi | October 27, 2011

A picture’s not only worth the proverbial thousand words, but can save a life. So can a t-shirt…er, TeachShirt. At the Unniched meeting held on 25 October 2011 in NYC, I spent a few minutes talking with two members of Zemoga‘s brain trust: Sven Larsen, Chief Marketing Office, and the firm’s Principal Design guru, Dan Licht. Read More »

Hackathons Bring Open Source Innovation to Humanitarian Aid

In open source software, end users, decision makers, subject matter experts, and developers from around the world can work together to create great solutions. There are a lot of mature open source projects out there already in the field of humanitarian and development aid, for example: Ushahidi and Sahana in crisis management and information gathering, OpenMRS for medical records, Martus for secure information sharing in places with limited freedom of speech, and Mifos X, an open platform for financial inclusion for people in poor areas where financial services such as savings, payments, and loans are not offered...

How Healthy Are We?

Nazimun Nessa | Dhaka Tribune | March 29, 2017

Reliable data on health is an essential part of a comprehensive health information system, which is central to evidence-informed, responsive decision-making for better public health program. A well-functioning health information system also helps policy-makers and program managers to monitor population health and plan interventions accordingly. In line with the vision of a Digital Bangladesh, one of the more significant changes that have happened in our health sector is transforming paper-based health reporting into an electronic health information system, along with initiating a medical record system through the Open MRS software...

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Kenya Creates Online System to Monitor Rural Sanitation

Kenya has launched an online monitoring, evaluation and reporting system to improve capturing of data on sanitation and hygiene status, a conference has heard. According to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, the country has open defecation rate of 14 per cent, with countries such as Wajir and Turkana having a rate of 76.7 and 82.2 per cent respectively. The online portal could help coordinate monitoring of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and enable public health officials in rural areas facilitate rapid acceleration of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) campaign, experts say...

New Open Source App Helps Protect Children Displaced by Conflict

Press Release | UNICEF | January 31, 2017

A life–saving service for vulnerable children caught up in crises is now available to government, aid agencies and social service workers through an open source app developed by UNICEF and its partners. The app known as Primero, facilitates the secure collection, storage and sharing of data to improve child protection, incident monitoring and family reunification services by key players in the humanitarian sector. The software is particularly crucial to the work of social workers in emergency situations to support children displaced by conflict...

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Open Source App Takes on Ebola and Mental Health in Liberia

Angie Nyakoon and Amanda Gbarmo Ndorbor are two outspoken and energetic women who oversee the Mental Health Unit at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) in Liberia. Together, they're applying a new open source app called mHero (that was first used to help them deal with the Ebola crisis) to the mental health issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the epidemic due to displacement and abandonment...mHero provides a trusted channel that facilitates two-way communication using SMS and interactive voice response for sending and receiving critical information to and from frontline health workers, in real time...

Philippines National Telehealth Center Leverages Innovative Open Solutions to Provide Equitable Access to Quality Healthcare

Priyankar Bhunia | Open Gov Asia | March 21, 2017

OpenGov had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Portia Grace Fernandez-Marcelo, Director of the UP (University of Philippines) Manila-National Telehealth Center (NTHC) about using ICT to provide equitable access to quality healthcare for all, specially in isolated and disadvantaged communities. NTHC is one of the pioneers in the Philippines developing cost-effective ICT tools and innovations for improving healthcare and deploying solutions in communities where they are required most urgently...

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UN Invests $9m in 'Open Source' Tech to Aave Children's Lives

Matt Burgess | WIRED | February 1, 2016

The United Nations will fund 60 startups to create open source technologies to improve the lives of children in developing countries. Unicef, the children's charity run by the UN, will channel more than $9 million into startups based on venture capital-style investing. But it isn't concerned if the companies fail. The money from Unicef's Innovation Fund will go to around 50 to 60 startups using open-source technology, and which have working prototypes. Each will get approximately $50,000 to help them grow. Companies have to be at an early stage and will be picked based on the strength of their teams, the work's relevance to children, and their future potential...

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