In Africa, most heartÂ specialists live and work in large cities or urban centers. But a majority of Africans live hundreds of miles from such centersÂ withoutÂ the resources to visit these specialists. Heart disease goes unchecked in many rural communities. A young Cameroonian engineer, Arthur Zang addressed this issue by creating the cardiopadâ€“a touch-screen medical tablet that measures important information like rhythmic contraction and expansion of the heart, and produces graphs that are wirelessly transmitted to cardio specialists to analyze. This pad can save people hundreds of dollars in transportation costs. It helps avoid the need toÂ travel to visit a specialist for routine labwork.
Hipporoller.org/ the hippo roller water drum
The Hippo Roller
Millions of people in rural areas of Africa do not live with a water source in their homes, or even near one. For these individuals, retrieving water can involve carrying heavy buckets on their heads for long distances, but not everybody has the strength do this. The Hippo Roller is a water drum that can be rolled on the ground, so people with injuries, the elderly, children and the like can transfer water from a source far from their homes, into their kitchens. The roller has long, upward-angled handles at the top, so the person pushing it does not need to bend over to push it. Two South Africans, Pettie Petzer and JohanÂ Jonker,Â developed the roller after growing up on farms and seeing how difficult it was for many people to bring water to their homes.
Pinterest.com/Kick Start portable water pumps
Portable water pumps
In Africa, only 6Â percent of cultivated land is irrigated. Add to that the unpredictable climate, and many parts of the continent cannot grow crops out of season.Â Kick StartÂ is a nonprofit that creates portable water pumps and sells them to farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Mali. The group sells the pumps rather than giving them away to promote a spirit of entrepreneurialism in the community. Many farmers rent out their pumps for further income. So far the group said it hasÂ sold 276,664 pumps, lifted 1,037,000 people out of poverty and helped create 190,000 jobs.
Biznerati.blogspot.com/ M-pepea emergency credit
Credit through your phone
Credit cards are still not widely available to Kenyans. Unfortunately, most loan companiesÂ capitalizeÂ on this shortcoming by charging unrealistic interest ratesâ€“sometimes as high as 50 percent. M-Pepea is a company that lets Kenyans take out emergency funds through their mobile phones. They can take out up to 20 percent of their monthly salary, and will receive a pin from M-Pepea to collect it. Customers then visit a Safaricom branch and collect their cash. They are charged 10Â percent interest, and the money is taken out of their paycheck at the end of the month. This is a great concept for anyone who is just getting on their feet and wonâ€™t qualify for a credit card. Many people donâ€™t have the funds to fulfill basic needs like paying rent, but will after several months of paychecks.
One.org/Orange sweet potato in Uganda
The orange sweet potato
Anyone who has children or works with children knows how difficult it is to get young children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Getting a child to eat a few bites of food that is good for them can require half an hour of encouragement, and at the end of it, they do not consume nearly enough to meet their nutritional needs. In Uganda, this issue cannot be solved by something as easy as giving gummy vitamins. Nearly 30 percent of Ugandan children suffer from vitamin A deficiency, sometimes resulting in blindness. USAID developed an orange sweet potatoÂ withÂ four to six times moreÂ beta-carotene (which turns into vitamin A) than regular sweet potatoes. The product is sold in Ugandan markets, and children who eat it regularly have significant health boosts. This food could be beneficial forÂ picky eaters anywhere in the world.
Fmnrhub.com.au/ farmer managed natural regeneration
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration or FMNR has been active since the 1950s and 1960sÂ when Niger underwent massive deforestation to make room for crops. The soil quality became so poor following the deforestation that attempting to grow new trees wasnâ€™t working for local farmers. Farmers in the region started trimming and pruning existing tree stumps, regenerating old land. Senegal has since used FMNR to combat the massive drought that has caused a widespread food shortage in the country. Through FMNR, soil fertility can improve, trees can grow back, natural fauna and flora will return and fuel wood and fodder can become available.
Sandtonchronicle.co.za/South africa depression and anxiety group
Audio books for mental health
In many parts of Africa, speaking about or acknowledging mental illness isnâ€™t happening. Thatâ€™s the norm in various countriesÂ around the world. When visiting or speaking to a psychologist or therapist isnâ€™t an option, people often readÂ books about depression, but researchers found that hasnâ€™t been too effective in Africa. Zane Wilson, the founder of the South African Depression & Anxiety group, created Speaking Booksâ€“free e-books that help the listener get through common mental conditions like anxiety and depression. The books have proven tremendously effective, and the company has now put out nearly 50 titles in 24 languages through 20 African countries.
News24.com/ Tutu Tester Van in South Africa
TB/HIV testing van
Even those who have access to clinics and doctors are often reluctantÂ to get tested for TB or HIV. The process can feel overwhelming, and simply driving to the appointment can be too much. The Tutu Tester vanÂ isÂ a mobile clinic in South Africa that brings trained medical professionals including a nurse and educator to remote communities. The van groups TB and HIV testing asÂ a regular checkup to removeÂ the stigma and encourageÂ people to take the tests. This type of service could be ideal for elderly communitiesÂ whichÂ are at higher risk for TB all over the world andÂ live far from cities or medical centers.
What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this post!