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Latino Daily News

Thursday February 17, 2011

Mobile Technology to Help Improve Quality of Life for Brazil’s Remote Indigenous Communities

The United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Foundation today announced a new initiative to identify how mobile technology can increase access to healthcare in Brazil’s indigenous communities.  Project partners include the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Brazilian Ministry of Health, who will lead an analysis of opportunities for mobile health (mHealth) programs to support the delivery of health information and services to indigenous communities in areas far removed from central health clinics and providers.

The research is now underway in Brazil and was announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The findings will be published this summer as part of a series of reports that identify how mobile technology can improve access to health information and services in remote and resource-poor environments.

“In many of the world’s most remote regions, mobile networks are now connecting communities to information and services at an unprecedented level, providing opportunities to deliver health benefits to traditionally underserved populations,” said Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation.  “This collaboration with the Vodafone Foundation, PAHO and the Brazilian Ministry of Health will focus on one community to determine how wireless communications can be used to improve health outcomes in some of Brazil’s hardest to reach communities.”

Brazil’s indigenous communities face many health challenges because of limited transportation infrastructure, a lack of proper equipment needed to transport vital vaccines and medical equipment, and the limitations of the paper-based health data collection systems that are still used in these communities.