Information technology can significantly advance the delivery of healthcare, addressing problems from the high risk of maternal death across Africa to the treatment of rare diseases. Our health partnerships directly support organizations working to improve health outcomes worldwide.
Across Africa there is an enormous demand for nurses, but financial and infrastructural barriers make training difficult. The Elsevier Foundation is working with Amref Health Africa to address the geographic, financial and infrastructural barriers that nurses and midwives face when accessing information essential to learning and practice in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. We do this through Jibu, Swahili for “answer”, a mobile continuing education app for nurses designed by Amref, reaching nurses across East Africa through their hand-held devices.
AMREF/Innovate for Life fund
Innovate for Life aims to bridge the gap between African entrepreneurs and international investors by offering deep subject matter knowledge, strong networks and access to funding – with the aim to tackle the alarming health challenges in Africa. The Elsevier Foundation supports Amref’s goal to help early-stage entrepreneurs developing novel technological solutions. Health solutions from the first cohort included a product line of preservative free, nutritionally balanced foods for children, an emergency services app connecting users to seven emergency service providers, and an online community app for young mothers to monitor and respond to the health challenges of children under five.
Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre
Half a million African children each year die from Rotavirus, an extremely infectious disease causing severe dehydration, diarrhea and death. The disease is highly preventable and vaccines are available but must be kept below 8°C – a tall order when working in developing countries where temperatures soar and refrigeration options are limited. Doctors without Borders’s research and training arm, Epicentre, runs a Niger Research Center conducting a vaccine trial for a new, cheaper and heat-resistant Rotavirus vaccine. The Elsevier Foundation supports the Center with training and mentoring of their African medical and scientific staff. It also supported a Scientific Day in Niger, with scientists and policymakers.
Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy
There is a global nursing shortage, and one of the key issues is the lack of qualified teachers. The Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA) aims to ease the transition for the next generation of nurses from practice to teaching. The program, which has been supported by the Elsevier Foundation since 2009, provides an intensive 20-month leadership development curriculum constructed on intellectual and experiential learning opportunities facilitated by an esteemed faculty. The program and three academy cohorts Scholars have consistently demonstrated advancement in leadership behavioral change, confidence in leading others, facilitation of teams, and professional presence.
Congenital Hyperinsulinism (CHI) is an ultra-rare disease where new-borns have a permanently excessive level of insulin in the blood, which can lead to brain injury or death if not caught quickly. To help battle CHI, Elsevier is working with Findacure, a UK-based charity whose mission is to build the rare disease community to drive research and develop treatments, by analyzing the disease’s biological pathways and structure, as well as by looking at already published literature. Findacure is setting up a social impact bond for rare disease drug repurposing to provide a platform to fund promising projects identified by patient groups, clinicians and researchers.