I have had the honor and privilege of working with Health eVillages almost since its launch in 2011. When Donato Tramuto founded Health eVillages to help address the problem of the more than 1 billion people who will die prematurely without ever having accessed basic healthcare or medicine, we recognized that on our own we could not save the world. But together with our deep belief that healthcare is a human right and through strong collaborations, we hoped that we could help move the needle on global health. We are so thankful that together with our dedicated partners, we are making a difference! By empowering clinicians in low resource settings with information and knowledge, Health eVillages has helped communities improve health and even save lives.
Health eVillages donates iPads and Android tablets loaded with the latest in digital medical and public health content including diagnostic and treatment apps, textbooks, videos and other community-focused resources to healthcare professionals around the world. These clinicians and community health workers may not otherwise have access to more traditional sources of current information such as textbooks, medical journals or even the internet. We hear frequently that nurses in Haiti may have shared a 30-year old textbook while in nursing school, or that community health workers in Tanzania don’t even have access to stable electricity, much less to the internet.
Our team recently paused and assessed Health eVillages’ impact and footprint over the years which revealed a diverse group of communities and programs around the world, using Health eVillages’ in innovative and sometimes unexpected ways – all to impact the health of the individual, the community and even the healthcare system.
We currently have 18 active partners, working in 10 countries from the U.S. to Haiti and all over Africa – they use Health eVillages’ resources to address unique needs on the frontlines of their communities whether it be training the next generation of nurse anesthetists, providing sexual and reproductive health education to adolescent girls, stemming malnutrition among children and training their families how to grow healthy gardens, addressing high rates of cervical cancer, and so much more.
We began in 2011 – 2012 with just four partners, all of whom are still working with us today. Originally using iPod Touch devices and now using Android tablets and iPads, as the needs in each community have changed, our assistance and support to them has changed. This is the advantage of the Health eVillages model. It is not dependent on any one type of technology, content, subject matter or user. Health eVillages is flexible and helps each community increase access to quality healthcare as they see fit.
Since 2011, Health eVillages has provided hundreds of devices, tens of thousands of apps and titles to 48 programs in 14 countries. We train clinic, hospital and other personnel how to use the technology and incorporate it into their practice. We stay in touch so that we can help address gaps in knowledge, changes in community need and additional training.
In 2019, after more than eight years, how are we doing? Are we making a difference? Our partners shared these and many other experiences recently:
“A mother came in with a child of 10 years with history of severe joint pains, severe jaundice, general body weakness and anorexia…I quickly picked [up] my Health eVillages device to check for the signs and symptoms she had, and this indicated Sickle cell Disease. I referred, and the mother came back with positive results. This is how I saved this child with the information I got from the device. The child is now improving as she was admitted and put on blood transfusion and on intravenous medication. Thanks for this program.” – from Uganda
“…These severe premature [triplets] were kept in our ward but the challenge was for the mother to exclusively breastfeed these Triplets without using formulas. Being a low incomed family, they could not manage to purchase formulas and could result to underfeeding, malnutrition even death of these babies. With aid of iPad videos we had special time in counselling her the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and good breastfeeding positions. The babies have gained weights and health. They have been coming as follow ups and now are 6 weeks old. Without iPad video illustration, it would have been so difficult for her to understand and succeed.” – from Malawi
“A seven-year old girl was brought into the clinic in a semiconscious state with an unclear medical history. Using his Health eVillages device, the Head Clinician was able to make the spot diagnosis of organophosphate poisoning and properly treat and saved the girl’s life.” – from Kenya
“On the first clinic day, the team took care of an 8-month-old baby who had a fever and bronchiolitis. The mother of the baby, knowing the clinic was going to be open for 3 days, brought her baby in every day for care, medication and nebulizer treatments. If the clinic had not been available, the baby would not have received care and her condition would have worsened. The mother explained that she was not able to pay for care at the other clinics and was incredibly grateful for the care her baby received. By day 3 of the clinic, the baby’s lungs had started to clear, and she was fever free.” – from Haiti
For more results and testimonials from our partners, please visit our Health eVillages website.
What will the next decade bring? Our hope is that by delivering technology, facilitating access and empowering healthcare providers, we can help “heal the villages” and move the needle on global health resulting in more smiling children, more healthy families and more seniors aging with a higher quality of life and well-being.