In southern African countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, 150 million people have little or no access to basic healthcare. The nearest medical facilities are often half a day’s walk away, with no bus connections and a taxi prohibitively expensive. And even if you manage to reach a hospital, adequate care is not guaranteed, since often they are lacking basic medical equipment and vaccines. In desperation, people end up buying medicine on the streets, where its origin and quality is difficult to ascertain. This is what the Tendai Project aims to tackle. The project is backed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and their collective health programme (SAPRAM).
The Tendai Project trains local-level health advisors in eight countries, who then gather information about the availability and market price of prescription medication. They can also record interviews or conduct digital surveys about healthcare provision in their region using smartphones. The project has been working since 2011 to provide vital data to help improve healthcare in the region.