Alcatel-Lucent, the Orange Mali Foundation, Afrique Initiatives, Médicament Export and Kafo Yeredeme Ton provide preventative healthcare services in Bamako
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) together with the Orange Mali Foundation, Afrique Initiatives, Médicament Export (Médex) and Kafo Yeredeme Tontoday announced the launch of a pilot project called Pésinet, in the district of Bamako Coura in Mali. Pésinet has been designed to provide preventative healthcare services for children from 0 to 5 years old from low-income households thanks to remote diagnosis based on the tracking and monitoring of changes in the children’s weight.
The service consists in weighing children in their homes every week – two times a week for children under one year old - using local trained members of the community. The “weighing agents” enter children’s weight and additional illness symptoms in their mobile phones thanks to a dedicated JAVA applet. Then they send them through the GPRS network to a database that has been designed to assist the Pésinet pediatrician in quickly identifying potentially ill children. The service also includes examination by the doctor and access to certain medication when necessary.
“Although tracking weight changes is a very basic healthcare service, it has proven to be very effective at identifying a number of illnesses, from malnutrition to malaria, and enabling timely medical intervention. Access to medicine is also a true added-value of this service for the population”, explains Robert Dulery, Manager of Médicament Export.
Alcatel-Lucent and Afrique Initiatives provided financial support and technical expertise to launch this pilot project. Médex also contributed to finance the project and provided a stock of medicine for the duration of the pilot phase. The Orange Mali Foundation also financially supported the project and supplied equipment (eight baby scales, and six mobile phones). A team of students from the ESSEC Business School and the Ecole Centrale Paris has developed the business plan as part of a joint academic program aimed at creating innovative products or services. The Malian NGO Kafo Yeredeme Ton is running the operations locally.
Michel Rocard, President and founder of Afrique Initiatives adds: “One of the key elements of our approach for this project has been to partner with local structures. The fact that a local NGO is directly managing the project will undoubtedly help to ensure that the service is adapted to their needs and that they adhere to it”.
Alioune NDIAYE, CEO of Orange Mali and President of the Orange Mali Foundation adds: “It is one of our core commitments to support projects that improve healthcare in Mali. As a leading operator in the region, we are happy to be able to use our technologies to help reduce child mortality in the communities where we live and work”.
“We are particularly proud to participate in this original initiative which emphasizes how Information and Communication Technologies can effectively improve the living conditions of disadvantaged people in emerging countries by allowing the development of new services based on innovative business models. Pésinet, a self-sustaining project, demonstrates that supplying services to low-income households could help achieve a more inclusive global society”, concludes Thierry Albrand, Vice President Digital Bridge Initiative of Alcatel-Lucent.
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