Kenya – Zubabox.

Computer Aid’s ZubaBox is a solar powered ICT hub fitted into a shipping container, designed to provide low power computing solutions to communities that do not have access to mains electricity or ICT. As a self-contained unit that is powered by solar, the ZubaBox can be deployed to the most rural and isolated communities anywhere in the world.

The request for the Zubabox came from AMREF African Health who provide healthcare across Africa. AMREF had identified that medical provision at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana District in the North West region of Kenya was a major concern for the 80,000+ refugees residing there. Cholera outbreaks, Aids, and malnutrition are everyday challenges faced by the population and access to specialist hospitals is extremely limited. AMREF flies in volunteer doctors to the camp when possible, however the isolated location and lack of infrastructure represent significant barriers to providing specialist healthcare.

“I am excited to have this ZubaBox. I had a dream of having staff being empowered by computer use. I wish all our entire staff including the support staff could have access to such technology. We’re the first hospital to have this in Kenya and that makes us feel elevated and connected to the world. The ZubaBox will help connect medical experts with the remotely located hospitals as well as practitioners in the medical world.” Sister Raeli Mwendwa, Kakuma Hospital

Thanks to ASE Consulting’s sponsorship, AMREF have been able to continue their work with Computer Aid to deliver a telemedicine project, which provides doctors with access to specialists anywhere in the world through ICT.

The Zubabox in this instance will allow medical staff within the camp to email medical notes and digital photographs of critically ill patients for expert clinical diagnostic support from experienced professional clinicians hundreds of miles away, therefore bringing healthcare to people living in even the remotest areas.

Having suffered a number of delays due to the ever-changing security situation on the ground and difficulties in securing transportation to Kakuma, the ZubaBox was finally handed over to Kakuma Hospital. Frank Odhiambo, Project Officer at AmRef Health Africa, accompanied by James Ndiga, Project Assistant visited Kakuma to setup and install the ZubaBox, its solar panels, the thin client network and provide initial training for hospital staff.

 

Steve Powell is a Director at ASE Consulting. The company was founded in 1987 and is established across a wide range of markets providing high quality services which bridge the gap between an organisation’s high-level business objectives and technology.