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AfriAfra: The African Network for Health Knowledge Management and Communication
Institution: Ministry of Health
Theme: Internet Governance
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 2001
Summary: AfriAfya, the African Network for Health Knowledge Management and Communication  comprising seven of the largest health NGOs in Kenya, was established in April 2000 by Kenya-based health development agencies to explore new opportunities for harnessing ICTs for community health.

In January 2001, the project started to explore how ICTs could be used in rural and other marginalized Kenyan communities to improve access to relevant up-to-date health information, with the ultimate goal of improving health in these communities. It set up a small coordinating hub and seven field centres selected from existing community-based health intervention sites run by each of the partner agencies. Communication was established between the hub and each of the partner agencies and field sites and between the different field sites. Each of these sites was equipped with a solar-powered Internet-enabled computer, a printer and three to four trained staff.

The project is designed to ensure a two-way communication process to provide communities with the information that they need. The hub first collects information needed from communities. It then repackages the information in an easy-to-read format and sends it back to the field centres for use by frontline health-care workers and agents. The hub finally disseminates the information to the community-based health intervention sites via e-mail, printed material, diskettes, CD ROMs and so on.

Impact: A key achievement of the AfriAfya pilot project has been to demonstrate practical methods of applying ICTs in rural and marginalized Kenyan communities in order to improve the communication of health information. The same system can be applied for communication of any other type of information.

By managing the content in a user-friendly format, communities can have improved access to relevant information and knowledge on health issues that concern them. They also have produced video documentaries on views of teenage mothers, the elderly and traditionalists, teachers and children of single mothers on teenage pregnancy, which has led to greater understanding of these issues.

Source: Ministry of Health
Project Home URL: http://www.afriafya.org

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