Clinton, HP in aid of Kenya’s infants

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 30 – Hewlett Packard (HP) on Tuesday announced an alliance with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) that will provide structural and systemic improvements in testing and treating more than 120,000 infants exposed to HIV in Kenya each year.

The partnership which was facilitated at the Clinton Global Initiative’s 2010 annual meeting will see the initiative implemented with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.

In the alliance, HP is providing technology that will capture, manage and return early infant diagnosis (EID) HIV test results in just one to two days after results are ready – a significant improvement from the previous paper-based system, which took two to three months.

The turnaround time for test results is especially critical, as infants diagnosed with HIV must begin anti-retroviral treatment (ART) as quickly as possible to ensure survival.  Without immediate treatment, half of HIV-positive infants are unlikely to survive past age two.  

"Technology and innovation are key to solving many of the most pressing challenges of our world, none of which are more urgent than a disease which takes the lives of 31 children every minute," said former US President Bill Clinton.

”I’m pleased HP\’s technology and expertise will enable the partnership with CHAI to save the lives of more than 100,000 infants in Kenya each year, and in the process, demonstrate how the private sector can and should operate in the developing world." 

The HP technology provisioning includes five HP datacenters connected with four existing laboratories. 

Within the first year in operation, the alliance expect to process EID HIV test results for approximately 70,000 infants, as well as provide real-time medical data to health practitioners throughout Kenya.

The system also will scale to support Kenya’s Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation as it expands Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services to more than 3,000 facilities during the next two years.

HP President Léo Apotheker said; “Our efforts with CHAI and the Ministry of Health demonstrate the critical role technology can play in improving access to healthcare worldwide and driving positive change for millions of people.”

HP is supporting students from Strathmore University who have developed a custom database application that uses cloud computing to improve the tracking process and make test results available online, as well as via SMS/GSM-enabled printers in real time.

The new database application also allows real-time analytics on the performance of the program to Ministry of Health decision makers. Additionally, the database will be used to communicate with rural health centers via SMS (short message service) regarding the status of test results.

The HP Office of Global Social Innovation has completed the installation of two datacenters in Nairobi at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the National AIDS/STI Control Programme (NASCOP) headquarters. Three additional sites are expected to be online next year at KEMRI centers in Busia, Kisumu and the Ministries of Health headquarters at Afya House. 

HP’s $1 million investment also includes servers, storage, PCs, networking equipment, SMS-enabled printers, and local IT training and support. 

“We believe these efforts will facilitate our ability to provide long-term health interventions that truly make a difference in keeping our population healthy and productive,” Minister for Public Health and Sanitation Beth Mugo said.
 

About the author
LABAN WANAMBISI

Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.