11 tech innovations changing global education

A giant shipping container now provides computers to students in remote locations. The simplest cell phone records and distributes local stories to improve literacy rates. Voicemails teach mothers how to care for, and educate, their young children. These are just some of the exciting technological adaptations changing education in the world’s remote and poor regions.

Education is a community-wide challenge. It requires talented teachers, committed parents and guardians, and tools for pupils. Providing these things in rural and poor areas has challenged policy makers across the planet.

Add poverty into the mix, and the situation can turn dire very quickly. In rural and remote areas, people struggle to pool enough resources and expertise to reach every child with an education.

To face this challenge, development experts, technology giants, entrepreneurs, and education leaders are adapting technology to improve educational outcomes in some of the world’s hardest to reach places.

Here are some of the innovations changing education around the world: ……more



Dear Shabir,

Acrodile Publishing Ltd has released two revised books as follows revised edition of

  • ‘Primary mother care and population’ (Africa edition) by Dr. Maurice King. This is ideal training and reference book/manual for your training programme
  • Environmental health and occupational health and safety by Samuel Obura Afubwa and Prof. Mutuku Alexander Mwanthi .

See book summaries and prelims/table of contents:

The e-books is available at Amazon (http://amzn.com/B00JQHZKF8 )  and https://amzn.com/B00JVANNKY  respectively.

Send us a request to quote for the print edition.

Kind regards

Kennedy Kilaho Chadeka
Acrodile Publishing Ltd

+254722496674/733196509 | kennedy@acrodile.co.ke | http://www.acrodile.co.ke | Skype: kennedy.chadeka | 15298-00509, Nairobi

WHA69 approves Framework on integrated people-centred health services. Supporting web platform launched.

Dear colleagues,

On 28 May 2016 at the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly, WHO Member States officially adopted the Framework on integrated people-centred health services (IPCHS) and its resolution on “Strengthening integrated, people-centred health services”, formally giving the WHO Secretariat the mandate to work on this new programmatic area.

During a high-level side event at the Assembly, WHO – and its Collaborating Centre the Andalusian School for Public Health – officially launched the IntegratedCare4People web platform. The platform is a global network for sharing knowledge and leading practices, and for joint learning on transforming health services to become more integrated and people-centred. Intended for practitioners and organizations, the platform aims to improve health service delivery by curating high quality knowledge products and resources that provide technical and operational insight into how health services can be transformed towards this vision.

As Member States emphasized during the WHA discussions, integrated people-centred health services are paramount to achieving universal health coverage, and Sustainable Development Goal 3. Member States further highlighted the importance of strengthening primary health care as a key strategy, of putting people and their needs at the centre of the focus, of combating fragmentation, and of making IPCHS one of the main pillars of a health model that will better deal with the challenges faced by today’s health systems. 

In the run-up to this important milestone, we have consulted with a large number of health providers, health care managers, policy-makers, advocates and community leaders and your feedback has been crucial in shaping the Framework on integrated people-centred health services and its associated web platform. We continue to invite and welcome your collaboration in building a truly global virtual network for moving towards integrated people-centred health services.

To help us spread the word about the Framework and the IntegratedCare4People web platform, we invite you to share this announcement with your colleagues and relevant partners. For those active on Twitter, we invite you to share the integratedcare4people.org link using the hashtag #IntegratedCare4People.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to continuing this important collaboration.

Kind regards,

 Dr Hernan Montenegro

Coordinator, Services Organization and Clinical Interventions Unit

Service Delivery and Safety Department

World Health Organization

Avenue Appia 20

CH-1211 Geneva 27 – Switzerland

+41 22 791 14 65 (Phone)

+41 22 791 41 74 (FAX)


Wonca Africa Statement at WHO Afro 66th Ministerial Conference, Addis Ababa

Statement of the World Organisation of Family Doctors, WONCA, Africa Region to the 66th Session of WHO Afro Regional Committee held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 19th to 23rd August, 2016.

Mr Chairman,

Distinguished Delegates,

I am grateful for the opportunity to bring the perspective of family doctors in Africa to the subject of “Health in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” to this august assembly.

The World Organisation of Family Doctors, WONCA, is an international organisation with over 500,000 members in about 130 countries and territories around the world. However, in the Africa Region, only Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho are currently members. Our mission is to assist member countries develop the content and delivery of good quality care by family doctors/primary care physicians around the world. WONCA has been in collaboration with WHO for several years now.

Evidence abounds that national health systems based on primary health care is the most cost effective way to deliver universally accessible health care to populations.

We believe the adoption the adoption and implementation of this is an attainable goal for all counties in Africa by 2030. However, this will require the political commitment and creative approach to harness available resources. Such commitment would involve :

  1. A paradigm shift in budgetary allocation that prioritise primary care. The management of the funds should target direct benefits to the end users and not bureaucratic services. This can be achieved through the implementation of a well designed national social health insurance scheme.
  2. A commitment to an effective public-private partnership that utilises resources in the private sector, which in some countries provide as much as 65% of health care services, in a complementary way with those in the public sector. The public sector can concentrate more in providing secondary and tertiary care while the private sector is empowered to take care of primary care and decongest the government hospitals.
  3. Human capacity development for primary health care. The WHA in its declaration on Primary Care: Now More than Ever in 2008, highlighted the need to develop human resources for the primary health care team. The ultimate goal for universal health coverage should be a system that guarantees the coverage of every family by a designated family doctor within a strong team. It is most critical to develop primary care physicians to lead such teams and bring high quality person-centred care to the population in Africa. There is the urgent need to pay attention to this call and align our medical education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to meet our need for more doctors in Africa by 2030.

WONCA has been partnering with Member Organisations around the world to enhance the contributions of family doctors to the national health service of their respective countries. We need the support of the distinguished delegates to this conference to encourage our respective countries to engage with their family doctors in developing primary health care in their countries and encourage them to benefit from WONCA through formal membership.

Thank you for listening.

Dr Ehimatie Obazee,



Africa Region.

State medical aid may go bust

THE Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) could be insolvent by financial year-end if drastic cost-containment measures are not instituted.

This would mean the scheme would need to be bailed out by the Treasury or amalgamated into a different scheme, forcing significant changes in benefits for its 1.8-million members.

It would be a big blow to those in government who hoped the scheme could provide a viable funding model for the proposed National Health Insurance.

It would also be an embarrassment for the Council of Medical Schemes, which has used its discretion to avoid putting the scheme under curatorship, despite its longstanding failure to meet the industry’s minimum statutory requirements……more

The six meetings that changed South African politics

SIX meetings over 10 days at different locations in Gauteng, following the sensational local government election results of August 3, have changed the face and dynamic of South African politics, perhaps forever.

At the heart of the battle was the EFF, which had to choose between siding with Africa’s oldest liberation movement, the ANC — which spawned the EFF but with which it has had a grim and bloody history over the past three years; or joining an opposition grouping that did not share the EFF’s ideology but with which it had forged strong ties in an increasingly volatile and violent Parliament, together facing down ANC bias and kragdadigheid.

Interviewed separately, EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and DA federal executive chairman James Selfe have offered a fascinating look inside the talks that have left the ANC out of power in several of the country’s biggest cities and towns, with Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay the most glittering jewels to be added to Cape Town in the opposition crown. …..more

Obamacare Is a Money-Loser for Insurers, Who Are Giving Up

Last November, when UnitedHealth Group said it expected to post big losses on its Obamacare policies in 2016, rivals such as Anthem and Aetna signaled their Affordable Care Act businesses were doing fine. The Obama administration used that as evidence to refute claims that systemic problems were brewing in its landmark insurance program.

Now, there’s no denying it. The four biggest U.S. health insurers admit they’re each losing hundreds of millions of dollars on their Obamacare plans. Rather than expand coverage, many are pulling out of the exchanges that were set up by the ACA so people can shop for insurance plans, often with the help of government subsidies.

UnitedHealth expects to lose $850 million on Obamacare in 2016, while Aetna, Anthem, and Humana are all on track to lose at least $300 million each on their ACA plans this year, according to company reports and estimates from Bloomberg Intelligence. UnitedHealth says it’s quitting 31 of the 34 states where it sells ACA policies. Humana is exiting 8 of 19 states and reducing its presence to just 156 counties, from 1,351 a year ago. Anthem hasn’t announced plans to change its participation in the program. …..more

The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics

The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer. Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight.

After almost nine years, we are finally beginning to reap the political whirlwind of the financial crisis. But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left had all bought into its philosophy, New Labour a classic in point. They knew no other way of thinking or doing: it had become the common sense. It was, as Antonio Gramsci put it, hegemonic. But that hegemony cannot and will not survive the test of the real world. …..more

New films about diabetes in pregnancy

Diabetes is considered the biggest global health crisis we face today.  Around 422 million adults live with the condition, resulting in 1.5 million deaths per year, and these numbers are expected to double in the next 20 years.

But one type of diabetes that often goes unrecognized is gestational diabetes, which develops in pregnancy and affects an estimated 3.7 million births each year.

Today we launch Diabetes in pregnancy: Stories from Saint Lucia – new films that tell the stories of women affected by diabetes during pregnancy. Shot in Saint Lucia – with the help of the Saint Lucia Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations and the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association – the films aim to raise awareness of diabetes in pregnancy, how to manage the risks through healthy diet and exercise, and how to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Cointha Thomas said, “Diabetes is one of the greatest health challenges facing our country, and little is known about gestational diabetes. This film will enable the Ministry to share lifesaving knowledge and strengthen our efforts to reduce the impact of this condition, helping to ensure more mothers and their babies are healthy in pregnancy and throughout their life course.”

These new films, available in English and Saint Lucian Creole, are part of a major drive to raise diabetes awareness in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean. They will be screened in hospital waiting rooms, antenatal clinics and in the wider community as part of a campaign to transform understanding of gestational diabetes, complementing a nationwide diabetes screening programme and training for diabetes specialists.

You can watch the full-length film here or view this short trailer – both available for free, in English and Saint Lucian Creole. 

Your feedback is important to us – please take five minutes to complete this short survey. And films like these are dependent on your donations so please do support our work.

These films were produced with support from W Science and in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations and the Saint Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association.

Films in new languages for health worker training in Nigeria

We are delighted to launch a suite of 11 maternal and child health films in two new languages – Yoruba and Hausa – to support the development an innovative health worker training programme in Nigeria.  This programme uses a tablet-based curriculum, developed with InStrat Global Health Solutions, Digital Campus, mPowering Frontline Health Workers and Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board, to share life-saving information about maternal and child health.

Yoruba and Hausa are among the most widely spoken languages in Africa, spoken by over 70 million native speakers, and by many millions more as a second or third language.  This suite of films in these new languages will help to transform access to vital knowledge about maternal and child health in West Africa.

Click the links below now to watch or download the films in full.

Local-language content is just the beginning of opportunities to scale this programme across Nigeria.  Plans are underway with Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board to expand the pilot significantly to cover more facilities in the State.  Meanwhile screenings have started in Kano State, northern Nigeria, using innovative solar powered Wi-Fi hubs in partnership with Outernet, with further possible programmes being planned.

For more news on the project stay in touch via our websiteTwitter and Facebook

Our thanks to mPowering Frontline Health Workers for their support for this work helping transform access to knowledge and training that saves lives.

Medical Aid Films, 16 Lincolns Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3ED, United Kingdom

K4Health’s Animated Knowledge Management Video Available in English and French

‘When global health practitioners use knowledge management in their work, health systems operate more smoothly, and clients receive better care. Ultimately, knowledge management contributes to greater health and longer, happier lives. The best news? Many of us already practice knowledge management every day. K4Health is pleased to now offer our five-minute overview of knowledge management for health in both English and French. Watch the video to learn how to be more intentional and systematic about knowledge management in order to strengthen services and improve lives.’

English: http://bit.ly/2akjR6l

French: http://bit.ly/2aEaTGa

Best wishes, Neil

Let’s build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge – Join HIFA: www.hifa2015.org  

Effectiveness of mHealth Interventions Targeting Health Care Workers to Improve Pregnancy Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review


Background: Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face the highest burden of maternal and neonatal deaths. Concurrently, they have the lowest number of physicians. Innovative methods such as the exchange of health-related information using mobile devices (mHealth) may support health care workers in the provision of antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in LMICs.

Objective: We conducted a systematic review evaluating the effectiveness of mHealth interventions targeting health care workers to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in LMIC.

Methods: The Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, Global Health Library, and Popline were searched using predetermined search and indexing terms. Quality assessment was performed using an adapted Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. A strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat analysis was performed for each included paper.

Results: A total of 19 studies were included for this systematic review, 10 intervention and 9 descriptive studies. mHealth interventions were used as communication, data collection, or educational tool by health care providers primarily at the community level in the provision of antenatal, delivery, and postnatal care. Interventions were used to track pregnant women to improve antenatal and delivery care, as well as facilitate referrals. None of the studies directly assessed the effect of mHealth on maternal and neonatal mortality. Challenges of mHealth interventions to assist health care workers consisted mainly of technical problems, such as mobile network coverage, internet access, electricity access, and maintenance of mobile phones.

Conclusions: mHealth interventions targeting health care workers have the potential to improve maternal and neonatal health services in LMICs. However, there is a gap in the knowledge whether mHealth interventions directly affect maternal and neonatal outcomes and future research should employ experimental designs with relevant outcome measures to address this gap.

J Med Internet Res 2016;18(8):e22


OPINION: ANC cannot look beyond here and now

2189419511For as long as the ANC rides the wave of materialism they will deserve the curse and the wrath of the youth in the 2019 election, writes Xolela Mangcu.

Antonio Gramsci has been on my mind since last week’s historic local government elections, when black people said to the ANC: “No more, this far and no further with your kleptocracy.” I have always known this moment would come, and said as much.

The black community has never blindly followed the ANC. Historically, we have always come in all ideological shades and political forms, from the Unity Movement to the PAC and the Black Consciousness movement, and then of course the reality of all the homeland political parties. …more

Developments in Soweto

The MEC expected change to sweep across Soweto but this has been delayed in part by management difficulties and the election process.

There is a renewed focus on setting up Community Practices modeled on Chiawelo Community Practice that could improvement the experience of patients across Soweto.

The idea is to cluster clinics and wards around major Community Health Centres and Large Clinics. Here is a Google Map of Soweto with some ideas.


EFF rules out coalitions with ANC‚ and warns DA to not underestimate its ‘catalytic capacity

mbuyisenindloziThe African National Congress (ANC) is on the ropes because of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). That’s according to EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“Undoubtedly‚ this election has been a massive success for the EFF‚” said Ndlozi‚ speaking for the party while it considers its options and keeps its leader‚ Julius Malema‚ away from media interviews.

“This is a historic result. The voters are rejecting the ANC. It is the EFF which took the votes away from the ANC. When you add up the percentages of the ANC and the EFF‚ it equals the votes the ANC previously had. The EFF is the difference‚” Ndozi claimed.. …more

Joburg makes an early ‘Moov’ into online education

laptopbookAs the Fees Commission takes public submissions on the feasibility of free higher education‚ the idea that online universities could play a role is starting to gain traction‚ with a ground breaking Johannesburg programme already notching up some impressive early results. One of the submissions presented by the University of the Witwatersrand graduate Ntokozo Mahlangu at the Fees Commission in Pretoria on Wednesday was the use online universities to eliminate many of the hurdles poor students face in their pursuit of tertiary education…..more

Elections a proud moment for SA

2090799436What our local government elections proved last week was that democracy in South Africa is stronger than ever, and it is something South Africans should be very proud of.

If we look around the southern African region, the tenets of democracy are not as strong as they are in South Africa, and in some instances, elections are being accompanied by significant violence and abuse of state institutions and resources…..more

Mpumalanga holds first people’s health assembly

Nurse Hlophe says she waited more than six hours for an ambulance when she went into labour. Her mother delivered the baby at home.Mpumalanga recently welcomed its first provincial People’s Health Assembly as the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and others continue to bemoan staff shortages. Nurse Hlophe says she waited more than six hours for an ambulance when she went into labour. Her mother delivered the baby at home. Sfiso Nkala is a community organiser for the public interest law organisation Section27. According to Nkala, health service delivery in the area is being compromised by poor facility management and unfilled critical posts.Organised by TAC, the assembly brought together Ermelo community members, activists and provincial department of health representatives. Among the concerns voiced by activists was the continued staff shortages faced by some facilities…more