Mobile Software Health Application Helps Stop Spread of Deadly Cholera Outbreak

October 17, 2018

Since 2015, a group of skilled volunteers from Cambia’s IT department has been working with Medical Teams International to build and implement the Health Information Program (HIP) mobile app, which improves and automates medical reporting for patients served at health clinics across Uganda’s refugee settlements. 

The partnership with Medical Teams International continues to educate and inspire beyond the original project.  Recently, we received an update that highlighted how Medical Teams International had employed the use of the mobile app to contain the spread of a dangerous disease that had broken out in several of their Ugandan refugee settlements.                              

By Heidi Brown, Senior Staff IT Consultant, Cambia Health Solutions, and skilled volunteer with Medical Teams International

Earlier this summer, the United Nations called upon Medical Teams International to stamp out a fast-spreading cholera outbreak in Africa. Health conditions in western Uganda had deteriorated rapidly because of an overwhelming number of Congolese refugees crossing the border from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Hundreds of these 42,000 newly arrived refugees were suffering from cholera, one of the world’s fastest-moving and deadliest infectious diseases among deeply vulnerable groups worldwide.

Medical Teams quickly mobilized a group of health workers to drive five hours to the main refugee settlement, Kyangwali, and began using the mobile app developed by a team of skilled IT volunteers from Cambia to rapidly track and report upon the rising tide of refugees exhibiting signs of cholera.

Through this swift implementation, the HIP mobile app, in lieu of paper reporting tools, allowed the clinic staff to accurately capture and visualize the depth of the crisis and redirect their resources towards treatment and prevention.  As a result, within just a few days, the number of new cholera cases was dramatically reduced and the number of deaths from the disease had dropped to zero.

The combination of Medical Teams’ highly-trained staff and the availability of real-time data via HIP had quickly ended a lethal cholera outbreak.

Learn more about Cambia’s collaboration with Medical Teams International in Uganda below.

Check out the project’s progress for the past three years: 

Video: Cambia and Medical Teams International partner to improve the lives of Ugandan refugees

Update: Mobile App Helping Refugees through Cambia’s Skilled Volunteerism with Medical Teams International

HealthChangers Podcast  | Skilled Volunteerism and Global Health Solutions with Medical Teams International

Cambia Returns to Uganda with Medical Teams International

Reflections and Updates from Cambia and Medical Teams International Partnership in Uganda

Cambia Technology Experts Travel to Uganda to Aid Refugee Health Clinics