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Cell Phones and Health in Sauri, Kenya

By now most people know cell phones have helped improve the lives of many living in developing countries.

A study published by the Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2007 found that a group of poor fishermen in India increased their profits by an average of 8% after using their cell phones to find the best prices for sardines. Mobile banking has become the alternative way for many poor people to pay for goods: they trade unused minutes for things they need.

But I have to admit, this story from Kenya was the first time I heard of cell phones helping health workers speed up diagnoses and help fight preventable diseases. In this video, Steven Omollo, the health worker, even uses his phone to confirm a suspected case of malnutrition.

From cell phones to solar panels, technology plays a big role in alleviating hunger and poverty around the world. As we wrote in the 2010 Hunger Report:

There are many simple and affordable technologies, like caulk guns or ceramic stoves, which can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While we want to make sure that advanced technologies like solar and wind power are shared, we also don’t want to miss relatively easy solutions that will have a big impact.

Sometimes smaller is better. Certainly, Steven Omollo would agree.

This story is part of our Wednesday ViewChange video series.

 

 

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