Preventing HIV/AIDS one SMS at a time
One million people in Uganda live with HIV/AIDS, where long distances and expensive travel costs significantly limit access to treatment. By employing an innovative mobile-technology strategy, Dr. Femida Gwadry-Sridhar, Director of I-THINK Research at Lawson Health Research Institute, hopes to provide a much-needed solution.
Over 10 million Ugandans now own a mobile device. By leveraging this common technology, Dr. Gwadry-Sridhar believes she can create widespread information sharing at minimal costs. She and her team plan to develop educational animated messages to be delivered directly to individual cell phones.
Dr. Gwadry-Sridhar hopes this strategy will generate a grassroots impact, leveraging existing social networks and influence to drive community learning. Through her colleagues at the Salama Shield Foundation and Makerere University, she will reach out directly to health care providers and community leaders to extend and improve care delivery.
"We can deliver vital healthcare information via these types of mobile devices," Gwadry-Sridhar says. "Our project will deliver animated messages to people of all ages to help them understand and manage AIDS/HIV and to prevent further spread."
This proposal is currently under consideration for Grand Challenges Canada's Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health Program. The program aims to tap into the creativity, knowledge and skills of emerging Canadian innovators to solve some of the most persistent health challenges in the developing world.