We are currently planning a 4-week pilot program (Dec 24 - Jan 25) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We have put together a team of 4 top-notch computer science students at Harvard, and we will be partnering with Bienmoyo Foundation and the Association for Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA) to improve their electronic medical records for maternal health care. We have also recruited a VES student to film a documentary of the experience.
We spent most of September reaching out to potential partners and exploring an opportunity for partnership. After speaking with about 8 potential partners, we closed down our outreach process, evaluated the opportunities, and ultimately decided to work with Bienmoyo and APHFTA.
Bienmoyo is a foundation focused on health through public-private partnerships in the regions of Tanzania and Kenya. In particular, their flagship product is mMaisha, a mobile health platform and electronic medical record system deployed in 20+ clinics and with 6000+ registered women (mMaisha currently focuses on maternal health). APHFTA is the largest association of private health clinics in East Africa, with over 500 clinics. We chose to work with Bienmoyo/APHFTA, because they have previously worked with Harvard undergraduates (as well as Wharton and MIT students) and because the technical work around the EMR system was most appealing.
Our main point of contact is Lushen Wu, who is the Executive Director for Bienmoyo Foundation and also sits on their Board of Directors. We have obtained letters of commitment from Dr. Ogillo, CEO of APHFTA, and Lushen.
There are a number of well-defined projects that we will work on with Bienmoyo and APHFTA:
Most of this work will occur in APHFTA’s offices in Dar es Salaam, but we also expect to make field visits at clinics in Tanga or Moshi. We will begin our preparation before departure by defining technical specifications, familiarizing ourselves with the codebase, and working on a project together to build teamwork experience.
Documentary: We are bringing a VES student to create a documentary of the entire experience. He will spend time exploring and interviewing the locals, APHFTA, and employees in the Tanzanian health system. Our purpose is to:
Research and Evaluation:: We plan on conducting surveys and building metrics software to evaluate the usefulness and usability of all our software. We will aslo be evaluating both the students' experiences and the partners' experiences to improve our program for future years.
Professional Mentorship: We will be contacting software professionals for mentorship, training, and best practices around software deployment and infrastructure.
You may find a 2-page brief of our pilot program at www.techintheworld.org/public/pilot.pdf