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Help us find a better way to deliver childhood vaccines by using cell phones and a “Facebook like” s

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by kimatire, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. kimatire

    kimatire JF-Expert Member

    Dec 5, 2011
    Joined: Nov 27, 2008
    Messages: 365
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    Your support will help us share with you, through a map and exploration, the potential of cell phones and social networks to improve childhood vaccine delivery. By contributing to this project, you will support the creation of a new means of vaccinating a child.

    The Problem is…

    …current methods of vaccinating children are unreliable and costly. Currently, children in rural Tanzania get vaccinated when a nonprofit organization raises enough money to transport large batches of vaccine to a village for a massive vaccine campaign. These “campaign style” vaccinations are problematic in that they are irregular, unpredictable and can leave pockets of villages unvaccinated, allowing for disease outbreaks. Regularly sending vaccines into rural villages, through a US style delivery system is not practical due to poor road conditions. It is too costly to use large trucks designated only for vaccine delivery to transport vaccines on these unpaved, rutted and washed out roads.

    The Solution is…

    … a new system of vaccine delivery that uses extra space on people, animals, or vehicles already traveling to these remove villages. With our Smart Delivery system, cell phones and a virtual group of “friends”, or delivery agents, can enable small batches of vaccines to continually reach the most rural areas of Tanzania. The Smart Delivery system will notify delivery agents when a batch of vaccines is ready for transport. The delivery agents, who have extra room in their backpack, on their bike, in their trunk, on their mule, or elsewhere for transporting a small cooler of vaccines will tell the system their current location and travel plans. The delivery agent passing through both the pick-up and drop-off villages will be hired to transport the vaccine.

    By exploring this new Smart Delivery system we are working to provide a cheaper and more reliable means of bringing life saving vaccines to rural areas of Tanzania.

    With you contributions, we will…

    … explore human movement in rural Tanzania, mapping known areas of transport and cell phone ownership in rural areas. We will determine who (e.g. busses, nonprofit vehicles, tourist vehicles, etc.) is going out to rural areas of Tanzania. We will look at how far people in these rural areas are moving for work, agriculture, water, and fuelwood and determine how many of these people own cell phones. All of this data will then inform our existing model of rural delivery systems and help us understand the feasibility of providing a constant small stream of childhood vaccines to these rural areas. Readers can remain updated on our progress through our NorthStar blog.

    As a result of your donation and our work…

    …we will have a map of cell phone ownership and rural movement for the Northwestern Serengeti Ecosystem in Tanzania. We will also have a calibrated model of rural distribution in Tanzania, which we will then use for peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and presentations at conferences. Most importantly, by doing this initial work to show the potential of a smart delivery system for childhood vaccines, your money and our efforts will lead to further funding proposals that will develop the on the group system for networking delivery agents and create a real world test of this delivery system.

    Your specific funds will be used…

    …to pay for our Postdoctoral Research Fellow to explore the existing data available on cell phone ownership, human movement, and childhood vaccines for rural Tanzania. Should we exceed our goal, additional funds will be used to fund travel to Tanzania to collect more detailed data and if we greatly exceed our goal the funds will enable us create the actual system of tracking and choosing delivery agents.

    Thank you for visiting our #scifund challenge crowdfunding site.

    Update: The NorthStar Intiative for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Minnesota has agreed to match all donations up to the goal amount (i.e. $5,000)!