Updated May 06, 2020

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Improving Global Health, One Text at a Time.

In collaboration with the University of Manitoba and University of Nairobi, Dr. Lester found that a simple “how are you?” text, sent weekly to patients on anti-viral therapy for HIV allowed nurses to easily manage and follow up with a large number of patients.
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The basis for the WelTel mHealth program came from a clinical study conducted by Dr. Richard Lester...
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In collaboration with the University of Manitoba and University of Nairobi, Dr. Lester found that a simple “how are you?” text, sent weekly to patients on anti-viral therapy for HIV allowed nurses to easily manage and follow up with a large number of patients.
How does your innovation work?
The basis for the WelTel mHealth program came from a clinical study conducted by Dr. Richard Lester, scientific director of WelTel and faculty in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Cell phones are everywhere in Africa and usage costs are very low, which makes them a great tool for patient care in rural Kenya. He found that a simple text sent to patients with HIV allowed nurses to easily manage and follow up with them.
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Emergency Communication
  
Grand Challenges Canada
  

Stage 2: Research & Development

WelTel received a seed grant in 2012 from Round 2 of the “1433” program. WelTel was able to demonstrate proof-of-concept and transformative potential, allowing them to move to the next phase, called “Phase II Transition to Scale”. After receiving texts, patients reported better support and were 12% more likely to stay on their drug therapy, which in turn led to a 9% increase in patients with full viral suppression.
Cell phones are everywhere in Africa and usage costs are low, which makes them a great tool for patient care in a resource limited setting like rural Kenya.
Registered in Canadain Canada

Focus Areas:

Health, Infectious & Vector Diseases, Digital Development and 3 MoreSEE ALL

Health, Infectious & Vector Diseases, Digital Development, Social and Behavior Change, Data/Analytics and TechnologySEE LESS

Implemented In:

Kenya

KenyaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
Verified Funding
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Planned Goals and Milestones

A partnership between WelTel and African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), with the support of Grand Challenges Canada, has secured a $2 million investment to improve HIV patient care and expand the mobile health (mHealth) program across rural Kenya. $1 million is coming from AMREF’s APHIAplus IMARISHA program; a five year USAID-funded project to transform the health status of the people of the northern arid lands of Kenya. This investment is matched by Grand Challenges Canada.
"This was one of the first trials that demonstrated improved HIV treatment behaviours", says Dr. Lester. "Given the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa, almost 30 million, these small but significant changes can be amplified to massive impact if brought to scale.

Milestone

Mar 2017
Funds RaisedVERIFIED
$75,000
TITLEWelTel Kenya2: Improving Global Health, One Text at a Time
FOCUS AREAS
Maternal Newborn and Child Health
Implemented InKenya
Apr 2013
Jan 2012
Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Kenya